Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Post-NY SSM

Anti-LGBT/-SSM groups seem to care little for democratic process and a lot of their financial well-being. We'll experience it in a new set of spasms following the NY legalization of same-sex marriage. Already announced are:
Don't expect NOM and other anti-homosexual groups to back off. Just because a huge state, NY, joined the marriage-equality family, that only indicates the irreversible trend. Accepting such reality is beyond the emotionally driven sorts.

There's a detailed projection of what to expect in SSM-headed Maryland and New Jersey in Bay Windows. The piece also gets into the likely battles around the nation.

Facts include the key one, that as socially slow as we are as a nation, we have finally tipped into favoring marriage equality. Yet, undeniably for many, particularly boomers and their parents, confusion remains. Some buy into illogic, such slightly expanding civil marriage to include homosexual couples redefines marriage, interferes in some way with religious marriage rites, will be terrible for children, will mean on the one hand drastic reductions in children born and on the other only a small percentage of civil marriages being of SS couples, or there is some reason other than pure punitive malice to prevent homosexual couples from getting the same benefits as others.

Oh, yeah, and there's that red herring about marriage being primarily for reproduction. That excludes the vast majority who are incapable or uninterested in having kids, or who adopt.

Plug away until they go away


To most of us though, it is increasingly plain that the anti-marriage equality sorts really care about perpetuating their business as long as they can. As long as they can convince oldsters and younger befuddleds that there is a reason to contribute, the longer they get their platform and paycheck. Unfortunately for them, their universe of suckers is dwindling, but fortunately for them, there are still quite a few to contribute.

While places like Maine have relative few citizens, voters, contributors, the symbolic value is high. I have long envisioned a regional equality block — all of New England, with New York and New Jersey. Moreover, Maine has an obstinate history, including in LGBT rights. Its lawmakers voted for gay rights a few times, to be overturned by petition, and now once for SSM, also overturned. When the pro-SSM petition goes to ballot, there's a high likelihood it will pass. So, as thinly populated as the state is, the anti-gay types want a victory there.

NOM's Maggie Gallagher says and has written that "history is not unidirectional" pointing to the Maine SSM vote. Of course, that remains true in Maine and elsewhere. Her group and similar ones love to crow "The people have spoken!," but those people are often not through thinking or voting.

The anti-SSM folk should at least be an inspiration in one way. They clearly don't like democracy, which can come with messy separation of powers. Marriage equality can come from the legislature or court or in half the states ballot initiative. Whenever the tide turns against the anti-SSM folk, they cry foul and turn to another branch of government.

Mainers have already learned such perseverance. It is not enough that the anti-SSM prophesies of horrible aftereffects of marriage equality always are proven wrong. The good guys have to keep plugging away until the bad guys go away.


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