From The Associated Press
The latest twists in the gay marriage debate create an oddly divided America, with only its Northeast corner and Pacific Coast recognizing same-sex unions. But gay-rights leaders are encouraged by progress on other parts of their agenda across the nation's heartland.
Three more states — Oregon, Iowa and Colorado — have enacted laws this year outlawing anti-gay discrimination, raising the total to 20 states that account for more than half the U.S. population. Twelve of those states extend those protections to transgender people.
Elsewhere, politicians who became the first openly gay members of their state legislatures have had an impact, helping pass gay-rights bills or thwarting measures they viewed as anti-gay. In Arkansas, for example, state Rep. Kathy Webb's heartfelt arguments played a role in the rejection of a bill to bar gays from adopting or foster-parenting.
Massachusetts is currently the only state that allows gay marriage and they actually shot down a proposed ballot measure to ban gay marriage. They’re on board. The big battleground is now California. The state legislature is expected to pass a gay marriage amendment this year and the Governator is expected to veto it. California already has a law in place that equates marriage to one man and one woman, though that law was possibly in place to discourage polygamy. For the most part, civil unions are becoming a reality on the “coasts” or whatever it is we’re calling traditionally ‘blue’ states.
The reference article is a pretty good unbiased overview of the state of ‘gay marriage.’ We have just four quick observations:
1) The mouth-piece for a group opposed to gay marriage blames the acceptance of gay marriage on the Will-and-Grace-ification of America. That’s a little like saying that Norm from Cheers made alcoholism and marginal employment cool.
2) Both sides talk about the strides that the other side’s ‘lobby’ has made. It’s funny that ‘lobby’ has become such a charged word. Lobbying has been part of politics since we inherited Britain’s bicameral legislative system. Maybe it’s run amok, but it’s part of the political deal.
3) How many heterosexuals work for pro-gay groups? We’re betting the number is pretty high. But no matter how enlightened (or gay-friendly) a dude is, he really does not like being perceived as gay. Imaginary conversation:
Dude1: “So you work at a place whose mission is to pursue the rights of homosexuals. That’s cool. That’s really decent of you. Good cause. What does your husband do?”
Dude2: “I am not gay. I have girlfriend and this attitude of yours is not helping. It’s bigoted.”
Dude1: “Sorry man. I’m just busting your chops. Please don’t hit me with your purse.”
Maybe a better question is: how many on the other side are secretly gay? Hmm?
4) Name-calling. Both sides are guilty of this. The pro-gay marriage crowd calls the ‘traditionalists’ bigots and cavemen. The anti-gay marriage crowd calls the ‘progressives’ sinners and wreckers of family-values. This is not helping discourse. Be civil. Be courteous.