Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 21, 2014

D.C. Log Cabin Republicans Fete Ex-Rep. Jim Kolbe

The Washington, D.C. chapter of organized gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Republicans hosted former Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., and his husband at a small mixer Wednesday night.

The D.C. Log Cabin Republicans convened the event at the Roosevelt Camden apartments on 16th Street Northwest to discuss the Senate immigration bill and Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick J. Leahy’s withdrawal of his amendment to include consideration for LGBT families in the bill’s provisions at this week’s markup.

D.C. Log Cabin Republicans Fete Ex Rep. Jim Kolbe

Kolbe and Kruse listen to a Log Cabin moderator’s question. (Julie Ershadi/CQ Roll Call)

Kolbe expressed a personal and professional stake in the matter.

While he was in office, he said, his district in Arizona saw huge influxes of undocumented immigrants after border security tightened in San Diego, Calif., and El Paso, Texas. Later, he and his husband, Hector, a Panamanian immigrant, were forced apart for nearly a year when Hector’s employer failed to renew his work visa in 2010.

Kolbe was the first openly gay Republican in Congress. He and Hector said their vows this past Saturday at the Cosmos Club near Dupont Circle, Hector told HOH.

D.C. Log Cabin Republicans Fete Ex Rep. Jim Kolbe

The newlyweds: Jim Kolbe and husband, Hector. (Julie Ershadi/CQ Roll Call)

Julie A. Kruse, policy director for legal advocacy group Immigration Equality, lamented the Leahy amendment’s withdrawal but told the group she was optimistic about the pending Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act.

“A good Supreme Court ruling will solve this problem,” she said.

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