06 May 2009

More Marriage News!

  • It's a trend sweeping New England: Maine has become the second state in the country to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples through legislative action. Pam's House Blend has a good post with reactions from various other marriage equality groups.
  • Via Lesbian Dad, this moving video of testimony last month before the Maine legislature. If you're the cry-at-video sort, grab the tissue box now: This reminds me of everything I love about PFLAG people. My own parents--very loving and very generous people on a daily basis to me and Politica--have religious views that apparently prevent them from taking up gay rights as a personal issue. I'm so touched by parents who are moved to advocacy on behalf of their kids. (Lesbian Dad has a pretty darn cool dad, too, btw.)

  • My favorite tweet of the day, from @lizschlegel: "Dear New Hampshire, Just vote Yes! We promise, all your opposite marriages will not disintegrate. Love, Vermont, Maine, CT, MA, IA
  • Once the euphoria fades in Maine--and perhaps before then--there will be a lot of work to be done on the ground. Maine's constitution provides for a voter veto option that can force the marriage law onto the ballot next fall (and if enough signatures are garnered in the 90 days after the close of the legislative session, the implementation of the law will be stayed pending the election results; otherwise the law goes into effect 90 days after the close of the session). Maine has a mixed record on gay rights laws at the ballot box, so the election would be hard fought. Pop on over to the good folks at Equality Maine to thank them for their organizing, and contribute, if you're moved, to their continuing efforts to build support for the marriage law. The legislature passed it, the governor signed it, but grass roots activism will be needed to keep the law in place.
  • One Iowa has been doing bang-up work in the wake of Iowa's court decision extending marriage rights to all Iowans. Visit their site to see the ad they're running now that puts marriage equality in the context of Iowa's long-standing commitment to being a place that welcomes everyone seeking freedom. Vermont Freedom to Marry will also be continuing its education campaign at fairs and events during the summer. There's a lot of organizing going on here.
  • Andrew Sullivan wrote eloquently about how suddenly ordinary it seems to be announcing that another state has opened up marriage rights. He notes: "what has made this remarkable, I think, has been the way in which ordinary people and families found the courage to testify and argue and stand up for the truth in their lives. That is a psychological and spiritual achievement - to see one's own worth in the face of widespread hostility and to fight for it until majorities are persuaded. It is not without its costs or risks or moments of deep anxiety. But that's what courage means." Lesbian Dad, in the comments on her post today, notes that the impending California Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of Prop 8 might well not be the news we want to hear, and the political battles will continue in California. Marriage equality is on the way in this country--but how long, and at what cost? I guess we'll find out.
  • Marriage equality isn't a political battle I ever expected to be involved in. Since the moment for the movement has arrived, I'm happy to participate. But let's not forget that marriage equality benefits coupled people who want to get married. People who eschew marriage for whatever reason, and people who aren't married, lose out in terms of the benefits that flow through marriage in the US (health insurance being perhaps the biggie). Shortly after the Vermont legislature acted on marriage, Shannon had some very smart things to say about the virtues of making marriage matter less.


Unknown said...

I really hope I'll get to do a wedding, soon!

Magpie said...

this is very cool. and yes, how quickly it's seeming ordinary - oh, another state.

kathy a. said...

i've got my kleenex out. am so very happy for these victories, one after the next.

the cal supremes must issue a decision by early june, and the tea leaves weren't looking so good at the time the cases were argued. i'm still hoping. but the fight's not over here.

elswhere said...

Thanks so much for this roundup!

kathy a. said...

woot! new hampshire!