Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Overstuffed National SSM Sandwich

This may quickly fall into the block-that-metaphor class. The U.S. is looking more and more like a sandwich on same-sex marriage. The two coasts are very thin bread and the inside of the huge middle are the retarded filling, a lot of stuffing in there, falling over from the South.

Whew. That's as far as we can take this, but consider the implications.

Among the First World nations, we are unquestionably the slowest on social issues, hence retarded. We do get there and the trend toward civil unions first and then leaning, leaning, leaning toward marriage equality follow.

It appears as though the legislative firecrackers that preceded and followed Goodridge and our SSM was the dying throes of our socially slowest and most regressive states. They did indeed dig holes for themselves in rushes to define marriage in law and amendment or both. Fortunately for their self-respect and ability to keep going, most of these regressive sorts have short memories and long records of justification. When it comes time to repeal or replace these limits in a few years or a decade or two, they'll say it seemed necessary at the time.

However the coasts are looking much more civil-rights and marriage-equality minded. New Hampshire is about to provide most marriage rights in their spousal union legislation. Vermont, New Jersey and Connecticut are already there with civil unions. New York is on the lip. Maine passed its gay-rights and domestic partnership laws -- and turned back the Dark Side who wanted to overturn them. Rhode Island is much closer to marriage-equality or civil unions and ready to honor Massachusetts marriages.

Out on the Left Coast, Washington just passed a domestic-partnership bill. The California legislature will legalize SSM again, only to face veto by their sad little governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. There, the majority grows and will be veto-proof soon or they will have new governor with more compassion and intelligence. Oregon too may pass a domestic partner bill or gay rights including civil unions.

Both coasts, filled with the educated, affluent and more liberal voters lead here. This is no more surprising than then opposite political preponderance in the Midwest and South.

Apparently, this war is over and marriage equality has won. However, like some distant jungle battle, the skirmishes will continue. Think the WWII Japanese soldiers who remained and kept ready to fight many decades later in caves and on islands. Likewise, the SSM foes are unlikely to admit defeat or accept that the rest of the nation and indeed the rest of the world has moved on.

This is becoming the Wack-A-Mole of politics. SSM haters say if only the legislature legalizes SSM, they'll go away. They don't. It's the same for ballot initiatives and court decisions. No matter what form of democracy tamps them down, they pop right back up like dandelions.

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1 comment:

Mike said...

Even Kansas...