Thursday, June 04, 2009

Same-Sex Marriage Legalized In New Hampshire


In line with Dick Cheney's POV, both houses of the New Hampshire legislature passed an amended same-sex marriage bill which was promptly signed by Governor John Lynch, a reluctant convert to marriage equality. The bill passed in the House 198-176 and in the state Senate 14-10. It takes effect on January 1, 2010.
"Today, we are standing up for the liberties of same-sex couples by making clear that they will receive the same rights, responsibilities, and respect, under New Hampshire law," Lynch said in a statement.

The law also recognizes out-of-state gay marriages and civil unions, which are legal in just a handful of U.S. states including New Hampshire. Same-sex couples who have civil unions in New Hampshire will automatically be married January 1, 2011.

...[G]ay-marriage laws are expanding swiftly on the East Coast, especially in New England where Massachusetts became the first state to allow gay people to marry five years ago.

Rhode Island is the only New England state without marriage equality, although legislation is wending its way through the system. New England was also the region that first began freeing slaves. In fact, Massachusetts, the first to back marriage equality, was the first to do so (in 1780). Each northern state followed between then and 1804 (although New Jersey still had "permanent apprentices" in 1860!). Rhode Island was the first state to ban importation (1774).

When we heard Cheney grousing a few days ago that marriage equality is the domain of the states and not the federal government, he was lying.
I guess there was no one in the press corps with much knowledge of history-- and no fans of the new Nanci Griffith album, The Loving Kind. On the title track of her new album Nanci lays out the story of how the miscegenation laws-- which prevented mixed race marriages well into the 1960s-- were struck down... nationally. Her song is based on the story of Richard and Mildred Loving and their court battle against the commonwealth of Virginia, which arrested and imprisoned them for getting married. Eventually the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down the miscegenation laws in all the states (although Alabama insisted on keeping it on its books, unenforced). Both Mildred Loving and Nanci Griffith have made it clear that the quest for marriage equality for gay couples is no different from the quest the Lovings went through in the '60s. I guess Cheney was too busy dodging the draft back then to have caught the news.

Meanwhile, Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin are voicing dissatisfaction and impatience with Obama from the gay community in today's Politico. I know I feel it myself. After all, he's been in office almost 5 months and he still hasn't righted the wrongs of 2 centuries. The military ban on openly gay men and women is still not on the front burner, a victim to more general priorities, like preventing a Depression and pushing health care reform.
“Obama is out of step with his party, which is overwhelmingly in favor of marriage at this stage,” said David Mixner, a veteran gay rights activist who is among the organizers of a march on Washington for same-sex marriage scheduled for this fall. “He’s out of step with the next generation.”

...“Politicians are finding out that their voters are moving faster than they anticipated,” said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, who called Obama’s place behind that curve “surprising, because he is the next-generational candidate.”

She noted that Obama could be concerned about alienating older voters in the Midwest who would be turned off if he came out in support of same-sex marriage.

New Hampshire is the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage, following Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Maine and Iowa. Nancy's song:

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At 7:29 AM, Anonymous Lee said...

I'm reminded of a line from Hairspray
"Isn't this where its all going?" after the dance show on tee vee becomes integrated.

This is one issue our President cannot have both ways.There will always be voters who believe in the "homosexual agenda"


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