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State of the Gay

While you were sleeping, a ton of pro-gay things have been passing left and right. See? Elections have consequences. And the Democratic sweep of the November 2008 elections is starting to pay rewards. Aren't you glad you voted for Obama?

Vermont and Maine

These two states will probably be the next ones to enact full gay marriage. I feel like we're playing a boardgame where we have to flip adjoining states one-by-one. Vermont has had civil unions since 2000, and the world hasn't ended for them. New Hampshire is notoriously libertarian and iconoclastic ("Live Free or Die!") so it's a good bet as well.


New York

New York is frustrating for gay marriage activists. If gay marriage passes in both New York and California, then we would have three of the nation's largest cities as well as 18.5% of the US population. I mean, even NEW JERSEY has recognized domestic partnerships *and* gay marriage since 2004. New York must be irked that their unfashionable neighbor to the southeast is more progressive than they are. Worse, a trio of homophobic democratic senators called the "gang of three" negotiated a backroom deal with the senate majority leader to not bring up the issue of gay marraige until late 2010. That sleazy deal seems to be defunct right now, but it doesn't keep New York from being a timid follower, not a leader.



Wyoming's legislature killed a bill that would have ignored gay marriages performed in other states. I'm not sure why conservatives want to destroy the Full Faith and Credit clause of the US constitution (article IV, section 1), and I wonder if they realize the implications about carving apart that document for a single instance of priviledge.



Back in 1998, Hawaii was one of the first states to discuss gave marriage. After their supreme court ruled that gay people could not be ignored under the state's non-discrimination policy, religious bigots quickly passed an amendment to their constitution. A new bill to create civil unions has passed their House this month and is on the way to their Senate.


New Mexico

Domestic partnership benefits march forward in Albuquerque. It's funny that two democratic senators opposed the bill, even though recent polls show their constituents were overwhelmingly for it. Lets hear it for individual prejudices abusing political power, shall we?



A bigger domestic partner bill. Some cities in Colorado have had benefits for gay partners for years, particularly for city employees. But that sucks if you didn't live in either Denver or Boulder. This bill expands the benefits and the area of coverage. The best thing is that this bill is being championed by a straight man, Stu Allen, who said gay couples should have the same rights that he and his girlfriend of seven years would have if they got married.



You were probably paying so much attention to the national elections to notice that Connecticut legalized full marriage back in October, 2008. Their high court ruled that civil unions were not "separate but equal". The idea of sneaking full marriage into states by initially granting civil unions is debated by gay activists, but it seems to have worked in this case. Connecticut joins Massachusetts as the only two states in the uS currently to allow full gay marriage right now.



Arguments for gay marriage and against Proposition 8 will be heard by the state's supreme court starting on March 5, with a decision about 90 days later. That means a firm ruling could be released by the first week, just in time for Pride celebrations. Can you imagine how nuts the party will be if the issue is settled once and for all?



"Days of Our Lives" or "All My Children" or something is having a lesbian wedding all this month. I saw two women in bridal dresses on a motorcycle and thought it looked really stupid. But I guess it's progress.


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The way NY has always worked, is that social change comes through the back door. The courts have held up the right of survivorship, out of state marrige, divorce, transfer of property upon death, etc. Thhis method actually works really welll, as it sneaks changes in step by step, then one day you realize that we have 95% so gay marrige, so it goes that final 5%.

Albany (the astae capitol) is such a mess right now poltically, i think we are better off being under the radar untill our budgets are settled. There is such backstabbing and power grabbing going on right now, letting the courts validate things step by step is most likely the best way to do it.

Yeah, what the heck was up with the "gang of three" thing? That was just bizarre. I'm surprised New York doesn't try to pass some sort of civil union thing. I bet everyone would be in favor of that.

You think the gang of three thing was bad, you should see how the rest of it runs.

NYC has civil unions and the downstate counties have partnership laws. NY is really two states, and upstate isnt really concenred about it. We are neither red, nor blue, but plaid.

I think the issue with NY is that we dont consider it a major issue here in NY State. People just go on with thier lives. We don't have strict policies on who can visit in a hospital. We have legal tools in place for guardianship and medical things. 9/11 setup a lot of legal precident for survivorship. We have gay adoption, the list can go on. In reflection, we may actually be at the 80% mark for all the legal rights of marrige. I thik what would bring it up to 100% would require the feds filling in the gaps in thier laws.

Oddly alot of our laws were set up for senior citizens that had to live together, not get married, but only had each other. Just when they wrote those laws, they never stated sex or age.

Like i said, we learned a while ago, that the best way to get social change is quietly, and no one notices it has crept up on them, then BINGO it is done.

Though I am working in a relatively conservative profession - planning and construction services and engineering - I am more than happy that my employer offers healthcare for domestic partners without having to be registered by an official institution. And clearly I can't understand why NY state isn't more progressive regarding glbt partnerships. And while I wouldn't wanna get married in the traditional sense of marriage - way too much overloaded with religious issues - it would be nice, very nice, to be able to say "Marry Me!" to my partner, go to my town hall the next day, do some paperwork, and a few days later be husband of my doggie. Just saying and dreaming. Dreaming because I am not a US citizen. Oh well.

Yes. Those are two issues that piss me off. If you are lucky to have an employer who honors domestic partnerships/civil unions/etc you will be stuck in your current job - terrified you will get laid off and then you and your partner both lose health insurance. Even if you get hired by another company... unless they have a similar policy, you're screwed.

Also, the lack of gay marriage really hurts bi-national couples. It's really painful to have to say goodbye to your partner because their visa expires.

The UAFA bill might change this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniting_American_Families_Act

Nothing is going to move very fast with DOMA in place. I really believe that he success of citizens' initiatives and referendums suggest legislative and judicial redress needs to be combined with more grassroots activism.

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, who is the love child of Russ Feingold and Tammy Baldwin, today announced budget inclusions to provide domestic partners with:
- Requiring hospitals and nursing homes to allow visitation for domestic partners.
- The ability to make end of life decisions for a domestic partner if he or she is unable to.
- Permitting family leave in the event of the death or serious illness of a domestic partner.

While these steps forward are not nearly as exciting as what is going on in some other places, they represent significant steps forward in a state that only two years ago enacted the most conservative constitutional amendment yet seen, banning gay marriage.

:( It's frustrating that the "Common Ground" initiative is struggling so much in Utah. The governor, the citizenry support it... even (arguably) the CHURCH supports it...

well maybe someday the legislature will listen to its citizens.

Since I'm sitting in jury duty right now I must say its neat that mos are allowed to check the boxes for marriage or civil union. CT isn't so bad I guess.

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I'm just surprised it's being done so *quietly*. Remember when Mass was considering gay marriage and every new outlet from Newsweek to CNN had hours of coverage?

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