Saturday, January 27, 2007

Equality Smackdown in Hartford

You can help yourself
But don't take too much

from God Bless the Child
Arthur Herzog Jr. and Billie Holiday
Keep those homosexuals out of Gov. Jodi Rell's Connecticut state house! She already signed a civil-union bill for them. How dare they come back asking for something more!

She claimed nearly two years ago that she was for equality. However, yesterday she sounded a lot more like our own recent ex-governor in saying in no uncertain terms that she'd veto a same-sex marriage bill if one appeared before her.

Two years ago, her statement on signing civil unions into law was:
I am pleased that the House of Representatives passed this amendment and made it clear that while we will recognize and support civil unions, marriage in Connecticut is defined as the union of a man and a woman.

Passage of this bill will extend civil rights to all couples, no matter their gender, and send the unmistakable message that discrimination in any form is unacceptable in Connecticut.
At the time, the conflict between her DOMA wording and that about no discrimination in her state seemed odd enough. Many of us put it down to the shock of the new.

Yesterday, she made it plain that separate with kind of equal was as far as she cared to go. According to the AP, Rell stated at a news conference, "I said ... when I signed the civil union bill that I believed it covered the concerns that had been raised. And I believe that that bill was the appropriate way to go and I still do. And the answer is 'yes,' I would veto a bill that provides for same-sex marriage."

Rell, shown above, wears a UCONN women's basketball jersey. The costumed hound beside her is allegedly her husband Lou in a husky suit. The pic is from the state Website. It draws attention to her status as married, which she can legally do in Connecticut as a heterosexual.

Having previously announced their continuing campaign to upgrade from civil unions to neighboring Massachusetts-style full marriage, equality activists on Rell's turf were not pleased. Love Makes a Family in Connecticut had already planned a press conference this coming Wednesday to announce their current legislative drive toward marriage.

The organization's president Anne Stanback said, "We're disappointed in the statement, but we are going to continue the dialogue. We hope that she will listen to the stories of the same-sex couples, the children of same-sex couples and why they feel that marriage is different from civil union and is something they should not be excluded from."

Logistics this year are not in marriage-equality's favor. It may take several goes.

The bill needs to be drafted and pushed through the Judiciary Committee by April 13 to hit the floor of the chambers in time for action this year. Then, unless Rell suddenly remembers and reconciles that statement of hers that "discrimination in any form is unacceptable in Connecticut," the bill would need a veto-proof vote to become law. That would be two-thirds -- 101 of 151 in the House and 24 of 36 in the Senate.

Meanwhile, eight same-sex couples have sued for full marriage to get all the benefits and rights. GLAD has the documents, overview and details on Kerrigan & Mock v. Connecticut Dept. of Public Health.

I can just see Jodi now turning to her husky hubby and asking, "Won't those people leave me alone?"

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