Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Capital Idea That SSM

We can gather a few wee lessons from the relatively speedy implementation of same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia. To wit:
  • The anti-GLBT forces don't always get their rollbacks.
  • Those forces continue to spit on democratic process as well as civil rights, trying every damned trick they can.
  • The Supreme Court is a bunch of lawyers who really get into minutiae and view details literally.
  • The struggle for nationwide SSM will, in fact, take decades to win.
  • One of the relentless lies of the anti folk is the terror of new marriage license wording, simply handled on D.C.'s new form with "applicant" and "spouse" in the entries. So there.
Oddly enough, the most recent little (but important) victory for the good guys came through Chief Justice John Roberts. He turned down the now familiar let-the-people-vote plea from the anti-gay suers. Finding no legal basis for stopping SSM from becoming law in D.C., their last effort after losing in lower courts was to plea for a ballot initiative. Of course, they said they wanted the chance to pass a one-man/one-woman marriage definition.

In a 3-pager, Roberts rejected the request, but on picayune legal grounds. That is, the district's charter does allow referenda. Unfortunately for the haters, any referendum cannot violate any discrimination provision of the D.C. Human Rights Act. That specifically includes sexual orientation, gender identity or expression (Section 2-1401.01).

Also, because of the atavistic and paternalistic relationship with the U.S. Congress, they could have stopped implementation. Roberts noted that Congress chose not to act.

So, we have five states and the federal district standing up for marriage equality, for human equality. A radio report said over 100 D.C. couples lined up before the offices open to join the true pro-marriage forces by getting licenses.

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