Today's big victory for marriage equality comes from Massachusetts, as its House passed a bill to repeal the "1913 law" that bars same-sex couples from other states who wish to marry there. Governor Deval Patrick will sign it when it hits his desk. (Bay Windows):
The bill cleared a final hurdle this afternoon, when the House of Representatives passed the bill on a roll call vote after about 45 minutes of debate. The vote was 118-35, with five members not voting.
The 1913 law prohibits out-of-state couples from marrying in Massachusetts if their marriage would be considered void in their home state, and it has prevented most same-sex couples from out of state from marrying in Massachusetts. LGBT advocates and their allies in the legislature have argued that the law was passed in 1913 in part to prevent interracial couples from skirting anti-miscegenation laws in their home states.
Check out this w-e-a-k defense by a Republican:
Republican Mary Rogeness spoke against the repeal, stating her concern that underage couples who were not allowed to marry in their home state might come here to get married if the law is repealed.
In equally satisfying news, it's time to take out the tiny violin for the supporters of the California marriage amendment. As pointed out in a post at my pad, the wording of Prop 8, as rewritten for the ballot by Attorney General Jerry Brown, clarifies the intent of the measure:
ELIMINATES RIGHT OF SAME-SEX COUPLES TO MARRY.
INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
Changes California Constitution to eliminate right of same-sex couples to marry. Provides that only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
Fiscal Impact: Over the next few years, potential revenue loss, mainly sales taxes, totaling in the several tens of millions of dollars, to state and local governments. In the long run, likely little fiscal impact to state and local governments.
Although the changes to the proposed amendment are subject to legal challenge, this summary accurately describes what the proposition will do. Prop. 8 would eliminate a constitutional right guaranteed to same-gender couples and would decrease revenues coming in to the state from marriages between same-gender couples.
This completely obliterates the conservative framing of the issue ("protecting marriage", "preserving the traditional family," etc.) and shows that supporters of the ballot initiative want to repeal a civil right that is now in place. And the fundies are hopping mad. More below the fold.
So what, exactly, do these bigots object to? Isn't that the intent of the measure -- to limit the right to marry to heterosexual couples? The only way to do that is to ban same-sex couples from marrying.
Gay rights backers cheered Brown's decision, but Jennifer Kerns of the Protect Marriage coalition told the Los Angeles Times the revised wording is "inherently argumentative." Kerns said the wording had the potential to "prejudice voters against the initiative." "This is a complete about-face from the ballot title that was assigned" for the petition drive, she said.
...Political analysts on both sides suggest that the language change will make passage of the initiative more difficult, noting that voters might be more reluctant to pass a measure that makes clear it is taking away existing rights.
The rewording does not make the initiative inaccurate in any way. What Kerns is objecting to is the conservative frame being tossed out the window ("protecting marriage") for the blunt bigoted intent of the amendment. It so sucks to be called out for what you are, fundies, doesn't it?
Check out the bible-thumping outcry over in the comments at OneNewsNow:
* "It is not just the state that is trying to defeat this, but PG&E has donated $250,000 to the No on 8 campain"
* "I just want to say "thank you" and "Amen" to the first three posters. That's how many I see at this time. I'm just thankful that I no longer live in California, but I pray for those who do. Stand up and fight for decency in America!"
* "Why should this not surprise me. Leftist politicians are always looking for new ways to stack the ballots in favor of their political agenda."
* "I agree with the article above that says America is going to Hell in a hand basket. All we have to do is study how Rome fell, from within and America is going that way. This is definitely against the teaching of the Bible. If we cast God out of all our buildings and schools and every where else how can we expect God to bless our country? The founding Fathers did not expect this of all things. I think we have to get back to the Bible if we want God to bless this country again. He is long suffering but He will only take so much. Look at all the weather patterns and you can see God has taken His hand off of America. The Bible tells us definitely homosexual activity is an abombanation."
* "Secretary of State Debra Bowen is clearly trying to undermine the will of the people with her re-wording the Prop 8. The language that was in the original ballot proposal was very clear and without question as to the intent of the proposal. Secretary of State Debra Bowen has no convoluted the wording in an effort to confuse voters in the upcoming November elections when the issue the is really on the people's mind will be the presidential election. How sneaky and sleazy can one person be? Remember, this is an elected official who has sworn to protect and defend the state constitution. How can one be so callous? Pray for the California people to raise up and defeat these anti-God people."
* "Thankfully the internet is providing a means of putting the information out to the American public when the national news media does not. Hopefully people will become angry about the attempt to silence us. I pray and hope it is not too late."
* "The good people of California DID stand up for their beliefs, and a few judges made a new law which totally disregarded the wishes of the majority of the voting public. Just another reason I'm glad I don't live in California . . . but that doesn't mean it can't or won't happen in other states."
* "How about changing the wording to "If you want to allow marriage between one man and more than one woman, start today by allowing it between two women or two men". Because that's the next step in the wicked's attempt to justify their wicked behavior choices and force it upon the entire nation. People who claim they are Christians better start standing up to these God-rejecting unrepentant sinners. Matthew 25:26 "His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strewed:""
* "What is the next step? How is it that the secretary of state can reword the ballot measure? Well I believe that those who are leading the way will do what it takes. We will need to be warriors and not give up."
* "Our country is going to hell in a hand basket, and no one even seems to care. if good people don't start standing up for their beliefs, then they will get what they allowed to happen to them, happens. This is a shame, George Washington, must be turning over in his grave. The other sad part, is, that many current immigrants, don't even know who i am talking about,."
* "The USA does not have much longer to enjoy God's blessings upon this nation that is willfully turning from God at every opportunity. Marriage will not survive nor will abortion ever be outlawed. God has given us over to our sinful natures since we as a whole have rejected Him and His Son, our Savior."
* "That's some twisted wording on the proposal now. What 'right' do homosexuals have to 'marry'? From where? Nowhere but from perverted minds. God help America."
* "After the election, the people of California shoudl vote the Secretary of State out of office."
* "The Missouri Secretary of State, Robin Carnahan, and the state attorney general also tried the same trick by making the ballot initiative, that they didn't like, negative. Fortunately we were able to sue to get it changed back thanks to a judge who saw through their ploy. Sue CAs secretary of state also and then use it against them to vote them out of office the next election. Liberals will lie, cheat and steal to get their way and won't allow somthing lie morals or the law to get in their way. That's why I left the Democratic Party, because it became the party of leftist special interest groups and no longer stood for the people."