Life Is Not Zero Sum. And Especially Not Marriage Equality
I will admit that there are a legion of topics that I have no comprehension of. A lot of things in the hard sciences just escape me. Maybe I don’t have the proper brain connections to understand some topics. I also understand that a lot of things get presented to the public in ways designed to obfuscate a topic rather than to enlighten people. But regardless of how it is presented, for the life of me, I do not understand how Marriage Equality can be considered a zero sum effort yet it is seemingly constantly presented as such.
For the record, I am a hetero male. I love women. I will admit that the vestigial remnants of sexism sometimes manifest in my appreciation of smart, talented, beautiful women. But I do not understand how my love for women is impacted in any way shape or form by Marriage Equality. If I were to find and fall in love with a beautiful woman, a marriage between two men or two other women would have absolutely no impact on my love and possible marriage.
Yesterday there was the news of the Appeals Panel at the 9th Circuit Court deferring their ruling on the Proposition 8 Constitutionality by asking the California Supreme Court if the Defendant Intervenors had standing in the case. FireDogLake coverage of all the Prop8 information is available here.
What some folks may have missed (or forgotten) over the past year is that the state of New Hampshire had legislatively passed a Marriage Equality bill that was signed into law in June of 2009 and effective January 1, 2010. This was after having previously enacted a Civil Unions law a couple of years earlier. After the initial law took effect last year, there were a couple of attempts to repeal the law that were defeated by the New Hampshire House of Representatives.
Oh what a difference an election makes. Republicans are once again a majority in both houses of the New Hampshire legislature and have promised to not only repeal the law but to inact a Constitutional Amendment so that it can not be brought back later. From Sunday’s (January 2, 2011) Concord Monitor:
Same-sex marriage was passed by a Democratic-led Legislature in 2009, mostly along party lines. Democratic Gov. John Lynch signed it into law that June, and the first couples were married Jan. 1, 2010. When the gay marriage bill was first introduced, few expected it to pass, and the stunning votes in the Legislature gave activists little time to prepare.
Now, however, the legislative calculus has flipped, with Republicans winning 19 seats in the Senate and 298 seats in the House. It seems likely that a gay marriage repeal will pass the House and Senate. The major question is whether opponents of same-sex marriage will have the two-thirds vote necessary in both chambers to override Lynch’s promised veto. This time, local and national advocates have ample time to prepare their strategies.
For now, there are at least two proposed repeal bills in the Legislature and one constitutional amendment. Only the constitutional amendment has the potential to go on a statewide ballot, but not until 2012. Rep. David Bates, a Windham Republican who proposed two of the bills, said he anticipates moving forward with a repeal bill this session but perhaps not pursuing the constitutional amendment until 2012. A constitutional amendment would require a majority vote of 60 percent in the House and Senate, and a two-thirds’ majority of the state’s voters. The governor would not have a role.
As always, this type of fight is a marathon battle and not a sprint but I would like to request the folks who have friends and family in New Hampshire to talk to them about fighting these repeal efforts. We do not need to take away rights from people. According to the Monitor article linked above, there have been 975 same sex marriages in New Hampshire in the last year. The law establishing Marriage Equality also allowed for the previously established civil unions to convert to marriage on January 1, 2011 raising the total of marriages to roughly 1500 (per wiki). Let loving couples and established familes stay as loving couples and families without further interference.
And because I can: