Bruce Garrett Cartoon

July 29, 2002

News Item:
Congressman Threatens D.C Domestic Partners Law

Representative David Vitter (R-La.) has begun mapping plans to overturn the Washington D.C. domestic partners registry. The law is the culmination of ten years of work persuading congress to remove restrictions against the law which was approved by the D.C. city council in 1992. Within a week of the removal of those restrictions, congressman Vitter. Vitter was elected to Congress in 1999, to succeed Congressman Bob Livingston, who was on his way to becoming House speaker when he was forced to resign after his extramarital affairs were made public.

Vitter's announcement comes as the Pentagon struggles with a fresh outbreak of domestic violence headlines. Three veterans of the war in Afghanistan and a fourth soldier, killed their wives in the Fort Bragg area in the last six weeks, causing the Army to announce a re-evaluation of the base's family counseling program. Advocacy groups have long complained that the pentagon and congress have not done enough to help soldiers and their spouses deal with the enormous difficulties of military life, including long separations, fear of death, low pay and infidelities. On the night of June 11, two days after returning from Afghanistan, Sgt. 1/C Rigoberto Nieves got into an argument with his wife, then pulled a .40-caliber pistol and shot her. Then he turned the gun on himself. On July 9 Sgt. Cedric Ramon Griffin, of the 37th Engineer Battalion, allegedly stabbed his estranged wife, Marilyn, 50 times. On July 19 Sgt. 1/C Brandon Floyd, a member of the elite Delta Force who had also served in Afghanistan, fatally shot his wife and then himself. Also on July 19, Army Special Forces master Sgt. William Wright confessed to strangling his wife and burying her body in the woods.

Copyright © July 29, 2002 by Bruce A. Garrett
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