Thursday, February 23, 2012

Merry in Maryland Over Equality

Somehow, I didn't believe it, but there you have it. The bicameral approved same-sex marriage bill passed the Maryland legislature and is on the desk of Gov. Martin O'Malley. He has pledged to sign it quickly.

This is a great counterpoint to NJ Gov. Chris Christie, who vetoed his legislature's marriage equality. His political ambition has him wearing the black cloak of anti-gay everything. If there's a Hell, he'll be on the express escalator.

After failing to pass last year by a narrow margin, the bill got through the House last week by 72 to 67.  This evening's Senate margin was 25 to 22.

Yeah, yeah, the anti-equality forces vow a state plebiscite on these enacted civil rights. (When will the high court put a stop to this vitriol?) The new law will take effect next January, meaning that a referendum could nullify it as it did in Maine. Those who live to hamper, hinder and harm homosexuals apparently will do anything to delay the inevitability of equality for them here.

Regardless, this past week's triple of House, Senate, Governor being reasonable and compassionate is cause for celebration.

I have finally become totally convinced that SCOTUS rulings on marriage equality and the comity of recognizing states' marriages is essential. First, find that equal protection applies. Second, require honoring marriage laws as naturally as drivers' licenses and other contracts. Third, make it plain that no referendum or ballot initiative shall put up the civil rights of any group for plebiscite.

We have representative democracy for many reasons in America. Not the least of these is leading on doing the right things for the greatest number of us and also the least protected of us. We seriously need to stop goofing it up.


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