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rant

My state legislature...

... just failed to pass a same-sex marriage bill. The Governor had promised to sign it, and the vote-counters figured they had most of the Democrats and at least four Republicans. It was going to be close... but several of the Democrats chickened out at the last minute, and without them for cover, all the Republicans chickened out too. It wasn't close.

Of course, last year when the Democrats took over the State Senate, one or two of them threatened to switch parties and give it back to the Republicans unless they got a promise that same-sex marriage wouldn't come to the floor this term. In fact, one or two of them did switch parties, then switch back again a few days later, causing a months-long court battle over which party should get to choose the committee chairs. Molly Ivins, where are you?

(ETA: The State Assembly has passed same-sex marriage several times, most recently two days ago, but I think this is the first time it has even reached the floor of the State Senate, which dropped the ball.]

[ETA: I looked up the vote tally. My newly-elected State Senator voted against. He's getting an angry letter.]

Comments

I'm Disappointed But Not Surprised

I wonder if this outcome is some kind of backlash against the Governor fueled partly by the mandatory legislative overtime. I mean, if they're capable of letting goverment grind to a halt while they bickered over who's going to be in charge of the Senate, petty vindictiveness wouldn't surprise me.

Social conservatives (in other states, at least) continue to frame this as a fringe whim being forced on an unwilling majority or as big government dictating what religions must accept. Right though the cause is, I think more equal protection under the law might be within closer reach if more incremental steps were taken. Give more people more time to realize the level of bigoted behavior which gay people are still having to deal with on a daily basis.

I mean, is it more important in the long run to be right with no legal standing or to create SOME kind of legal standing which might be built on in the future?
I landed on the side favoring gay marriage in a logical fashion. If one only views marriage as a means of securing the next generation, then of course gay marriages would seem superfluous and unnecessary at best. However, if one views marriage as a public declaration of commitment between two people to shoulder life's burdens together, then that privilege should be extended to *any* two people.

In hindsight, this may well be the reason why my usually conservative godfather and his wife asked me why Brian and I had bothered to get married at all, since I was 45 and he was 59, and, to put it bluntly, that ship was pulling out of the dock for me. They went so far as to say that at our ages, we could just live together and there would be no scandal, at least in their eyes. I didn't get mad at them because they meant well, and have been among the many wishing us well since this Long Strange Trip began for us.

However, my dad would still have had a hissy-fit if we had gone that route. We wanted to make this a public declaration with as many of our family and friends as our budget would allow, and that was that.

I'm with minstrlmummr on this one, disappointed but not surprised.
If one only views marriage as a means of securing the next generation, then of course gay marriages would seem superfluous and unnecessary at best.

But harmless. And of course, all the same could be said of marriages where producing children is medically unlikely (like yours), or not chosen (like ours), etc. Although married couples have an easier time adopting, and they have financial and legal advantages, either of which would make it easier to raise children -- which is a much harder job than producing them.

However, if one views marriage as a public declaration of commitment between two people to shoulder life's burdens together, then that privilege should be extended to *any* two people.

Right. In fact, I don't see what the government has to do with the matter: anybody can make a "public declaration". The real problem is that Federal, State, and local governments have given the aforementioned financial and legal advantages to people who are "officially" married.