There have been some recent developments on gay marriage in the last seven days. Look for some additional pro-gay legal rights this summer.
On Tuesday, the Assembly Judiciary Committee approved legislation for gay marriage. This bill is almost identical to the one passed in 2005 and veoted by the Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger. A similar fate will probably happen with this bill. I personally have sold my "Predator" DVD in protest. Meanwhile, the California Supreme Court will hear arguments later this year in three cases on the issue of the constitutionality of banning same-sex marriage. A ruling is expected by October, I think.
This week, the Connecticut General Assembly Judiciary Committee voted 27-15 to approve a bill that would make full gay marriage legal in that state. It will now head to the House of Representatives. If the measure passes, though, it is likely to suffer the same fate as similar legislation in California - a veto. In other news, case is also currently pending with the Connecticut Supreme Court, filed by eight couples who say that civil unions do not suffice. However, the approval of the gay marriage bill in Connecticut yesterday appears to be the second time (California was the first) that a gay marriage bill has been approved by a legislative committee without a court order. Hopefully, this is a trend.
Two bills are being sent to the House next week, one that creates civil unions, and one that includes gays in the state’s nondiscrimination law. In 2005, a civil union bill passed the House but was killed in the Senate. This year, with a Democratic majority in both houses and the support of governor Ted Kulongoski, the bills are expected to pass during the summer.
This week the state legislature passed a civil union bill. This one will probably be signed by governor Chris Gregoire soon.
In February, the attorney general decided that gay marriages in other states will be recognize by Rhode Island. And considering how tiny the state is, how hard would it be to drive to Massachusetts? This ruling reverses the previous 2006 unilateral decision by a single Republican supreme court justice, so the issue will be tossed about in an undecided state for a while.
The courts voted in 2006 that the issue of gay marriage should be decided by the legislature. (Funny, Schwarzenegger argued that the legislature shouldn’t decide in California and should be left to the courts…grr) So, NY governor Elliot Spitzer will introduce a bill this month to do exactly that. In my opinion, New York is a little embarrassed at the actions of nearby New Jersey, and wants to appear more progressive than Trenton.
Today a Senate committee voted for civil unions, amid a lot of contentious debate. The House passed it last week, so with a full Senate vote, New Hampshire might have civil unions by the summer.
It’s going to be a busy gay pride in June!