Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Wheels, They Grind Exceeding Slow

Came across several news items in the past couple of days which suggest marriage equality is on track. Just moving agonizingly slowly.

Least encouraging, but not entirely unsatisfying, is an interview in the latest Advocate with Barack Obama. The interviewer asks him if he shares the view of so many that civil unions are sufficient, that gays don’t need to push for marriage. Barack’s answer is right on. He references Martin Luther King’s “justice delayed is justice denied” quote. “I’m very mindful of Dr. King’s Letter From Birmingham Jail, where he says to the white clergy, "Don’t tell me to wait for my freedom." He then goes on to remind people that Kennedy did not push to repeal the anti-miscegenation laws, suggesting things have to take their time.

So what is it, Barack, I want to ask. Now would be nice but maybe later? Even though later means not now? "Not now” is always a very bitter pill when you sense the time has come at long last.

But reading through the tone he takes in the interview, I am persuaded once again Obama is the man for the job. This would appear to be a good sample of his skill in not giving you what you want and making you appreciate he has other fish to fry. No small feat.

There was good news in New York recently, where an appeals court vacated a law passed last year which barred New York from recognizing same sex marriages registered out of state. This puts New York in the running for full marriage equality as they have in Massachusetts. And neck-in-neck with Iowa, where it has been approved by the legislature but is currently hung up in court. And possibly Connecticut, where a decision is imminent. And hopefully California, where the decision is due in early June.

Spitzer had introduced a marriage equality bill into the New York State Legislature, where it passed the Democratic controlled Assembly but failed to be taken up by the Republican controlled Senate.

Meanwhile, here in California, we read the good news that Arnold the Governator has come down on the side of marriage equality this time by stating clearly that he would oppose a state amendment to outlaw same sex marriage in the constitution. Such a constitutional amendment, if passed (unlike on the national level, it requires only a majority), could potentially overrule a Supreme Court decision that gays have the right to marriage, if they come to that decision. The misnamed “family defenders” are out in force already, not waiting for the decision.

But so are the marriage equality folk, God Bless.

Damn, it would be nice to have this struggle behind us.

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