Thursday, July 13, 2006

Gay Marriage? Oh, Yeah, Real Soon.

Bicoastal dithering has folks in a flutter. Yesterday in Massachusetts, the combined legislature delayed action on two anti-same-sex-marriage amendments until a convenient time, after the November election.

Meanwhile, out in Olympia, Washington, citizens have been waiting a year and one-half for the highest court to release its decision on whether SSM is legal there or whether the legislature has to decide. In both cases, cynics and ordinary observers alike are crying foul and cheap politics.

Washington has several oddments gumming its works. Most obviously and to many, most damning, is that high court justices are elected, that is in another phrase they must also be politicians. So, of course, they are subject to political pressure to some degree.

Also, that State Supreme Court uses a champion system to arrive at decisions. One justice becomes the agent who encourages and enables a majority decision. He or she negotiates and communicates until a majority is ready and then writes the opinion.

Of course, it might be that the SSM case is so complex that the champion has not been able to broker a decision. Far more likely is that the justices want to wait until after the election so the losing side will not be able to affect the outcome with voters.

In Boston, the issue is even less clear and clean. The schoolyard bullies, like VoteonMarriage, are stomping their infantile stomps and pouting their kiddy pouts. As Mass Family Institute/VoteonMarriage head Kris Mineau put it after the delay until November 9th, "We'’ll do our best to make (lawmakers who voted to recess the Con Con) accountable for the Nov. 7 election."

Bay Windows was right on top of the whining. Check here for a transcript of Mineau's remarks. This includes the instant classic, "It was a strategy to duck the will of the people."

Historical Note: That type of bluster two years ago backfired. Targeted pro-SSM and pro-gay-rights legislators won and several anti ones were turned out. His groups have much better luck leading the simple to the barnyard through petition drives. Baa. Voters are majority against the anti-SSM positions.

So, of course it's political on this coast as well. The Senate President and ConCon Presiding Officer Robert Travaglini seems finally savvy enough not to get into too much trouble on this. Rather than adjourn and if you pardon, queer the amendment, he delayed.

The pro-SSM side this will let the legislators vote their conscience and not respond to stomping, pouting threats. The anti-SSM side said, "This day was ours. We had the votes. We was robbed."

The whining now shifts. It was, "You won't vote on my petition," and suddenly became "You won't vote on my petition on my schedule."

Wah wah wah.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

New Study in Talk2Action:

"New MA Data Shows Christian Right Wrong On Gay Marriage in Massachusetts: Mass Likely To Retain Lowest Divorce Rate Spot In 2005, Gay Marriage Hostile States Lag."