Saturday, April 2, 2011

News from the States

Update from various states:

  • First up, from Washington, the legislature will recognize out-of-state marriages and treat them the same as WA's fairly generous Domestic Partnerships. So if you visit Seattle and get sick, your same-sex spouse will have the rights to take care of you.

  • In Delaware, a civil unions bill has moved out of committee to the State Senate.

  • Not so good news from Indiana, where the State Senate overwhelmingly approved a ban not only of marriage but civil unions. This will have to go in front of the legislature again next year to continue towards Constitutional amendment.

  • Also, from Colorado, although a civil unions bill passed the Senate, it was killed by the judiciary committee after the most hateful testimony from professional homophobes like Paul Cameron. The vote was party line, by people who should know better. The Denver Post tells us,
    [I]t was clear that the vote was painful for some Republicans, including Rep. Brian DelGrosso of Loveland, whose uncle is gay. He bowed his head when voting “no.”

    “It was tough,” DelGrosso said afterward....Another Republican who voted “no,” Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg, of Sterling, told [the bill's sponsor, Rep Mark ] Ferrandino afterward, “You’ll make a great dad.”

    Ferrandino’s partner, Greg Werstch, had testified about their efforts to adopt, testimony that moved Ferrandino to tears.
    Is it just me or does it make NO SENSE that these Republicans are clearly moved and supportive of the real lives of gay people, but continue to vote the homophobic line? Inexcusable.

  • In Maryland, the marriage equality bill died without a final vote.

What's important to note, however, is the level of vitriol, lies, hate, and horror that those opposed are now dishing out. To the point where in at least a couple of cases, they have turned the stomachs of the politicians.
  • In Colorado, State Sen Nancy Spence said
    he also was influenced by what she called the “disappointing” testimony and behavior of opponents when the bill was before a Senate committee.
    Some of the anti-gay testimony from the committee hearing includes these choice bits:
    "Every Coloradoan now has basically a $112 AIDS tax from gays in the United States...if we as a society allow it to be accepted, we will get more of it...when gays are partnered they are more apt to get sexually transmitted diseases."

    "They found Sodom and Gomorrah two years ago buried underneath the ash heap so that proves right there by archaeology that any society that allowed homosexuality, including the Jewish society, disintegrated completely."

    "If you vote otherwise, you are going to help end - not tomorrow, the sun will come up - but you will help to end this most successful civilization.
    This is what passes for testimony to justify denying basic rights to American citizens.

  • This follows on a changed vote in Maryland in response to Maggie Gallagher's vile testimony.

  • In Delaware, the opposition is starting to blanket the state with anti-gay robocalls.

We can expect the lies and hatred to continue to escalate, of course, because they are losing. They are fighting as hard as they can. We have to be vigilant and responsive and not let these hate groups dominate the press or the coverage. WE all have a responsibility to be involved!

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