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And then there were four...

A week ago, Massachusetts and Connecticut stood alone as the solitary bastions of Marriage Equality in the nation (since California citizens saw fit in November to bring back second-class citizenship status to their LGBT residents). In the past five days we've had a flurry of news almost too fast to process. First on Friday April 3, 2009, Iowa's Supreme Court unanimously made that Midwestern state the newest and most protected Marriage Equality state. Monday, April 6, Senate Majority Leader, Michael Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, emphatically pledged to never allow a vote on a Equality-banning constitutional amendment to reach the Senate floor, even as square-jawed Governor Chet Culver vows to push one. Many experts believe that Iowa will be different than California because Iowa's Constitution is much harder to change, and will take at least 4 years to get an amendment on the ballot before the people, even if conservatives do rid themselves of Gronstal. The good news kept rolling in on Tuesday, April 7, when the Vermont Legislature voted 100-49 to override Governor Jim Douglas' veto of the bill they had passed (Thursday, April 2) turning their existing Civil Unions law into full-fledged Marriage Equality--the first state in the nation to do so without a court telling them so.

On deck now are four states to watch:

New Hampshire--though the House passed their Marriage Equality bill by a slim margin, the bill still needs to slide through to the Senate (which has already passed a version of the bill) and then on to Governor John Lynch, who does not approve of Equality in the law.
Main--There is a lot of support for this legislation, but unfortunately, the bill puts the question before voters, so even if it passes, it may not pass.
Maryland--Though a bill defining marriage as a heterosexual-only institution died in committee, it seems that as the session draws near close, a bill enacting Marriage Equality also looks dead in the water.
Illinois--The Civil Unions bill, a sweeping law that will give same-sex couples most of the rights of opposite-sex couples--but not all--is still awaiting its third and final reading/debate.

...Don't forget about D.C.--whose council approved rules today (April 7) to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Couples who move to D.C. now are recognized as Domestic Partners.

The business of Marriage Equality seems to be gaining momentum by leaps and bounds. My next article will discuss how we can accelerate and protect this momentum.


Topher said…
According to the Box Turtle Bulletin, Gov. Chet Culver will not be pushing for an anti-gay bill. As such, it looks like it will be even safer!

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We can't do this alone.

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We must demand Progressives have got to make LGBT rights a top priority in 2010, or we will keep being put on the back-burner.

There will ALWAYS be something more important than LGBT equality affecting America--issues like Health Care Reform and the Economy effect LGBT people too! However, when we are discriminated against under the law every single day, we can't give our all to fixing these problems. We are long overdue to be counted as equal citizens. That&#…

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The NEW HAMPSHIRE House, which on May 6 APPROVED Marriage Equality by a vote of 178-167, has now stalled the REWRITTEN BY GOVERNOR JOHN LYNCH bill 188-186--That's right, folks, two votes.  25 members did not vote at all, and opponents of the bill failed to kill it in a 173-202 vote, but this STILL means we're waiting on NEW HAMPSHIRE to GET ITS SHIT TOGETHER!  The House passed a resolution to continue negotiating with the Senate by a vote of 207-168.  If that same number votes for the 're-re-renegotiated' bill in the next two weeks it will pass, but …