Friday, May 17, 2013

Left Side of the Aisle #108 - Part 1

Good news: same-sex marriage in three more states

On May 2, Gov. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island took to the steps of the State House and said "I am proud to say that now, at long last, you are free to marry the person you love." He then signed into law the state's recognition of same-sex marriage. With the addition of Rhode Island, there were 10 states and the District of Columbia where same-sex couples can get married.

Five days later, on May 7, Delaware became the 11th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Gov. Jack Markell signed the legislation into law immediately after its passage by the legislature, telling the assembled crowd, “I do not intend to make any of you wait one minute longer.”

And exactly a week after that, on May 14, Gov. Mark Dayton of Minnesota signed a measure passed the day before by the state legislature, making Minnesota the 12th state - and the third in less than two weeks - to recognize same-sex marriage. It was also the first state in Midwest to do so by legislative vote.

In response to the victory, the mayor of St. Paul ordered a downtown bridge decorated with rainbow-striped gay pride flags and temporarily renamed it the "Freedom to Marry Bridge." He also proclaimed "Freedom to Marry Week."

Meanwhile, Minnesota's most famous opponent of same-sex marriage, Rep. Michele Bonkersmann, ambassador to Earth from the Ori, claimed the vote "denies religious liberty to people who believe in traditional marriage." Which only goes to prove that for people like her, "religious liberty" means the ability to force everyone else to believe the way you do.

Believe this people, this is one - and it may be the only one - but on this one, we are winning.

Oh, a footnote to the Minnesota vote: Brian Brown, president of the anti-gay hate group the National Organization for Marriage was left spluttering that you'd better get an anti-same-sex marriage provision into your state constitution because if you don't, "the powerful and wealthy gay marriage lobby will target your state for their next campaign."

Remarking on the "wealthy gays" is a rather odd comment, coming as it does from a man who is paid $508,000 a year in salary and benefits for his politicking. Then again, recognizing how odd it is would require a certain level of self-reflection, so there's little chance of that.


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