Come in! Come in!

"If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a Hope-er, a Pray-er, a Magic Bean buyer; if you're a pretender, come sit by my fire. For we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!" -- Shel Silverstein

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The arc of history is long . . . .

. . . . but it always bends toward justice." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Vermont. Connecticut. Iowa. Massachusetts. New Hampshire. New York. California ('yes' and then 'no' and now an even stronger 'maybe').

New Jersey, which has had domestic partnership and now civil unions, no doubt, will be next.

Gay Rights Activist are predicting a sweep of the North East (Maine and RI) by 2012.

As of January 1, 2009, NJ, Maine, Hawaii, the District of Columbia, Oregon, Washington, and Maryland have created legal unions for same-sex couples that offer varying subsets of the rights and responsibilities of marriage under the laws of those jurisdictions.

And, this just in: The D.C. Council Tuesday overwhelmingly voted in favor of legislation recognizing same-sex marriages from other states as marriage in the District -- a move lauded by lawmakers as a step toward legalizing gay marriage in the city.

President Obama has pledged a full repeal of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which currently guarantees that no state needs to treat a relationship between two people of the same sex as marriage, even if it is considered a marriage in another state, and further directs the Federal Government not to treat same-sex relationships as marriages for any purpose, even if concluded or recognized by one of the states.

One possible effect of the repeal, as one Lambda Legal lawyer once said to me a decade ago, that the issue of gay marriage will, eventually, be settled by the IRS.

The arc of history is surely bending, ever so slowly, toward justice.

And yet . . . . according to several sources, as of January 1, 2009, thirty states have constitutional amendments explicitly barring the recognition of same-sex marriage, confining civil marriage to a legal union between a man and a woman.

More than 40 states explicitly restrict marriage to two persons of the opposite sex, including some of those that have created legal recognition for same-sex unions under a name other than "marriage." A small number of states ban any legal recognition of same-sex unions that would be equivalent to civil marriage.

Opponents of same-sex marriage swept the last Election Day, with voters in 11 states approving constitutional amendments codifying marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution.

The amendments won in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Utah and Oregon.

We've come a long way, but we ain't there yet.

The two question for us as we approach General Convention in Anaheim are:

1. What will we do, as a church, to provide liturgical rites of marriage for churches in diocese in those states where gay marriage is legal?

2. Does this necessitate a change to our canons?

Susan Russell, President of Integrity, seems to have an answer. Read Integrity's press release here.

I suspect, if nothing else, that it will be a Very Hot July in Anaheim.



Great info ... thanks!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

You bet, Susan. It ain't even 'almost heaven', but we're at least on the Freeway.

IT said...

The marriage penalty on our taxes accounted for a fair sum in California (that is, we paid more as a couple than we would have singly). Of course federally we are single, so no penalty there. I might add that it's a penalty I will gladly pay; a way to raise money for the federal budget?

Meanwhile, wait for the bite back. It ain't over and the fat lady is a long way from her aria.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Oh, I know, IT. And you know, I fully expect Obama to make good on his promise to fully repeal DOMA, but even that won't even put the proverbial Fat Lady anywhere near the stage. But, you know what, right now, it feels good . . .so I'm going to enjoy it, if you don't mind.

VTcrone said...

Thank God, I can finally uncross my fingers and toes! Do you know how hard it is to do anything with your hands, much less walk when they are all crossed? ;~)
VT was the first state where the legislature, and not the state courts, passed the Gay Marriage Bill. Both houses had to over ride Gov. "Wishy Washy" Douglas's veto of the bill by 2/3. In the Senate it was 23 to 5, while in the House it was 100 to 49. (It won by 1 vote.) Douglas could have just let the bill gone unsigned and it would have become law. However, feelings are that he may be thinking of a presidential run in 2012. He vetoed the bill because of "personal convictions." It was the first time his veto of any bill has been over ridden. Way to go Jim. It serves you right!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Am I wrong, or is Da Gov an RC who has said that he personally supports the bill, but his "faith" doesn't allow him to support it.

'Scuse me, Gov, but that would be your 'religion', not 'faith' and we do still have this foundational principle about the separation of church and state.

I think that applies in VT as well. Ah, these boys who hide behind the lace-trimmed white dresses of clerical men.

Caminante said...

Jim Douglas goes to the Congregational Church AFAIK.

Frair John said...

That the President wants to overturn DOMA is pretty well established. That the Speaker wants to sit on a repeal until the next session is a fairly widely heard rumor in DC.
I'm thinking she wants to hold off until we have the 60 seats in the Senate and a procedural way around the shenanigans the Republicans have started in the House.
IT's right, Brunhild's still in the wings. She is wearing her horns and starting to warm up though.