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July 14, 2004

Unpack those bags, David!

Great news: we don't have to leave the country! Senate Vote Blocks Effort to Ban Gay Marriage in Constitution


Backers of a constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriages suffered a stinging defeat in the Senate today as opponents easily killed the initiative for the year in a procedural showdown.

The tide has already turned on this issue... polls over the past year have shown a gradual but still significant softening of negativity on this issue among Americans--and no recent polls indicated that a clear majority of Americans wanted a Constitutional ban. But the fact that the Republicans lost so decisively indicates that even some conservative Senators were fearful of the political consequences of writing hate into the Constitution.

This vote clears the way for this issue to unfold in the several states, as it should. Equality will spread organically as the older Americans--who overwhelmingly oppose marriage equality--give way to tolerant younger Americans who (in poll after poll) see this as a non-issue.

Today's vote makes me optimistic that--as is our goal with the Virginia boycott-- Repubs are learning the hard lesson that beating up on gays is no longer a cheap way to score points with their conservative base. I can't imagine who'll they will pick on next, but the anti-gay hysteria is looking more plainly hysterical every passing day. (But they will find another boogeyman, because neither conservative politics nor extremist Christianity can function without one. To find proof that the appeal of the Repubs is based on fear, one need look no further than Bush.)

I believe that in 15 or 20 years, we will see the Defense of Marriage Act overturned. God willing, David and I might even be able to share our Social Security benefits... assuming Social Security is still around. Actually, I think the odds for legalized civil marriage for us is the better bet of those two!

It's funny. I just realized that I was sitting at this same desk in SS+K's New York office last summer when the Supremes ruled in the Lawrence case that states could not prohibit homosexual conduct. This city, in all its chaotic diversity, is where the gay equality movement started in earnest just 35 years ago with the Stonewall riot. It's good to be here and reflect on the progress we have made in a span just a little longer than my lifetime. It will be even better to come back to the home I share with my husband to toast this momentous decision, secure in the knowledge that the land of my birth (and his adopted home) has seen its way clear not to consign us to second-class citizenship. For another day, we remain the land of the free and the home of the brave. Never, friends, let us take that for granted.

Posted by jay at July 14, 2004 12:36 PM | TrackBack
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Comments

Not to rain on your parade-- it is great news. Really, really great news. And we need good news these days.

Still, I think that a lot of the reason that it failed has nothing to do with Republicans' views of homosexuality or gay marriage. It is them sticking to one of the basic tenets of Republican party-- State's Rights. Many Republican politicians hate the idea of gay marriage, but hate even more opening the door to "big government" that tells the states what they can and cannot legislate.

I'll take the vote anyway I can get it!

Posted by: Marti on July 14, 2004 12:51 PM

Dammit!!!! and we were just looking at Canadian waterfront! Curses! Drats!

Posted by: Jamie on July 14, 2004 02:36 PM
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