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Marriage equality mini-round up

A few stories are percolating…

* Maryland‘s Supreme Court will hear arguments tomorrow on whether the state must grant marriage equality to same-sex couples.

“It’s the beginning of the wait,” said Dan Furmansky, executive director of the gay-rights group Equality Maryland. “If you look at this in the context of civil rights struggles, if you just won and won, it wouldn’t be a struggle.”

…But a ruling that falls short of marriage would be a disappointment to advocates of gay rights in Maryland. “Plenty of folks would be much more enthusiastic to take the safe route than grant full legal parity,” Furmansky said. “It’s simply wrong to exclude people from the same legal institution that has been set up to protect other families. It would be an incompletion toward the process of fairness and justice.”

Del. Donald H. Dwyer Jr. said he plans to push a bill next year to ban gay marriage in the state constitution, a measure he has backed unsuccessfully in three legislative sessions. “I will be working for the next four years to be sure we can get that on the ballot the next election cycle,” the Anne Arundel County Republican said. “If same-sex marriage is legalized in this state, it will very shortly be taught in public schools as normal sexual behavior, and I am totally opposed to having children taught that homosexuality is normal.”

See Don Dwyer’s constituent services for a laugh.

* California‘s going back to the drawing board as openly gay San Francisco Assemblyman Mark Leno will introduce a marriage equality bill almost identical to the one the Governator vetoed last year. The Golden State already has DP laws on the books that give nearly full equality.

Schwarzenegger’s stance, btw, is that the courts should decide whether Proposition 22 is unconstitutional, which forbids California to recognize gay marriages sanctioned by other states. CaliTaliban Randy Thomasson couldn’t wait to unleash this nonsense.

Predicting the gay marriage issue will be the “biggest legislative battle” next year, Randy Thomasson, president of Campaign for Children and Families, said Democrats “have declared war upon marriage between a man and a woman.”

“To continue to push for full-blown gay marriage licenses is unlawful, unconstitutional and undemocratic,” Thomasson said. “The California Constitution specifically prohibits the Legislature from repealing voter-approved initiatives. This bill should be vetoed by Arnold Schwarzenegger on the same grounds as he vetoed it last year — because the people have already voted to keep marriage between a man and a woman, just as God created it.”

* Canada’s wingers are still trying to undo marriage equality. The countre’s parliament will soon vote on whether to revisit last year’s legislation that legalized marriage country-wide for gay couples.

A parliamentary debate on the matter will start next Wednesday and a vote could be held the same day or on Thursday, depending on how fast the government shuts down discussions, a member of the government told Reuters. Otherwise legislators would vote the week starting December 11.

Ministers rejected the idea that the government, which is sliding in opinion polls, secretly wanted the vote to fail so the matter could be put to rest once and for all before an election widely expected to be held early next year. Rob Nicholson, the minister responsible for steering the government agenda through Parliament, said one of the reasons legislators passed the law last year was that the then Liberal government ordered all its ministers to vote in favor.

“I’m confident that the vote is winnable. Certainly I believe that there are many people in the Liberal Party who felt constrained by the rules that were set in place a year and a half ago,” he told reporters.

Pro gay-marriage activists say they are confident that a majority of legislators will vote against reopening the issue.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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