Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I'm feelin the love

Woohoo! This is a great week for gay marriage.

From AP:
Vermont, the state that invented civil unions, on Tuesday became a pioneer once again as the first state to legalize gay marriage through a legislature's vote.

The House barely achieved the votes necessary to override Gov. Jim Douglas' veto of a bill that will allow gays and lesbians to marry beginning September 1. Four states now have same-sex marriage laws and other states soon could follow suit.

Bills to allow same-sex marriage are currently before lawmakers in New Hampshire, Maine, New York and New Jersey. The three other states that currently allow same-sex marriage — Connecticut, Massachusetts and Iowa — each moved to do so through the courts, not legislatures.

"For a popularly elected legislature to make this decision is a much more democratic process" because lawmakers have to answer to the voters every other November, said Eric Davis, a retired Middlebury College political science professor.

Courts typically deal with arcane points of constitutional law. While legislatures debate some of the same principles, the process may become much more personal. In Vermont, some of the most gripping debate came when gay and lesbian lawmakers took to the House floor last Thursday and told their own personal love stories.

Getting gay marriage approved in a political, rather than purely legal, forum is a big step, said Boston University law professor Linda McLain, an expert on family law and policy. "What may give courage to other legislatures is that this legislature managed to do it," she said.

I can’t even begin to explain how much hope these measures give me.

Especially when I look at a map like this:

We may not be the worst in the world (like that’s ever an achievement), but we still have a long long way to go.

It’s nothing less then heartbreaking that the United States is so ass backwards on gay rights issues.

Not only do most states refuse to recognize gay marriage, but few are even willing to offer (the very much less and completely unequal) civil unions.

I’m constantly ashamed at how far behind we are compared to other western countries and at least a few states are taking the necessary steps forward.

I’ve talked a little before about the idea of “traditional marriage” being fantasy, and I can’t help but stand in awe that some states finally see that as well.

Now if only the American people would follow suit...

-Here's a great place to easily learn about the differences of civil unions vs. civil marriage and why it's not a fair solution.

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