Kicking A Lion

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Same sex rights will make a late comeback

Gloom and doom are all the rage around the water coolers these days for same-sex marriage supporters. Not only did Prop 8 in California reverse gay nuptials, the future of gay marriage looks murky as we peer across the country. Or so it seems.

While some express despair, anticipated legislative victories across the Northeast may prove to be a turning point for equal marriage rights.

Marc Solomon, political director of MassEquality, sees brighter days on the horizon. The organization recently launched a program called “6 by 12” — with the goal of marriage equality in all six New England states by 2012. In addition, the gay-friendly governors of New York and New Jersey have indicated they would sign same-sex marriage into law.

But while gay marriage slowly advances in certain parts of the country, it faces setbacks in others. As New England proceeds with regional harmony, since 2004 thirty states have amended their constitutions to ban same-sex marriage. Additionally, the Defense of Marriage Act, which forbids the federal government from recognizing any state’s same-sex marriage, remains frozen in its 1990s time warp, unlikely to be overturned even by a Democratic Congress.

Yet attitudes on marriage are clearly changing. A recent nationwide survey published in Newsweek reveals that for the first time a slight majority opposes amending the Constitution to prohibit gay marriage. As recently as 2004, a strong majority supported such a ban; and the same Newsweek poll showed that almost two-thirds of younger voters support gay marriage, which augurs well for future elections.

In the short run, the road remains bumpy, but marriage equality is a notoriously recent phenomenon. Even in Massachusetts, the fate of same-sex marriage once hung in the balance.
Unlike our state, which had the luxury of time to change hearts and minds, California voters just scuttled same-sex marriage. Nevertheless, the 2008 margin narrowed since the question appeared in 2000 and current polling suggests it wouldn’t pass again.

Even with recent setbacks elsewhere, New England’s forecast — for once — should be a lot less gloomy. Our neck of the woods is once again poised to be the Hub of the Universe.

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Written by kickingalion

December 17, 2008 at 3:10 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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