Sunday, June 26, 2011

As New York Legalizes Gay Marriage...

There's a reason I separated this opinion blog from my main blog. It's because I link that one to Facebook. Most of my Facebook friends are relatives. Half of them (my late father's side) are born-again Christians. I am happy that the state of New York just legalized same-sex marriage. They aren't. This blog is not for them.

After a long dry spell, the legislature of the third biggest state in the Union extended full marriage rights to same-sex couples. This is a major development in the continuing struggle. There is no danger that the law will be repealed because: one, New York has no initiative process that religious opponents can use to repeal it with; two; since a Democratic-dominated legislature shot down the first attempt two years ago, opposition has collapsed to the point where a Republican-dominated legislature approved it.

The next challenge will be in liberal states with an initiative process, particularly the three on the West Coast. Previously, direct democracy was still conservative on the issue of same-sex marriage, as witness Proposition 8 in California in 2008. Can same-sex marriage rights prevail at the ballot in 2012 in states like California and Washington? I'd say my own state (Washington) is already ahead on it because it's a civil-unions state. It's also behind because it has a "Defense of Marriage Act" on the law books, and it needs to be repealed. That's what any marriage-rights initiative will have to do. You know I'll be voting for the marriage-rights initiative as soon as my ballot comes in the mail.

The struggle continues...

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