Thursday, May 15, 2008

Walls... Closing... In

So... I rashly committed to not getting married in any state that didn't afford same sex couples the same right. This was when only Hawai'i allowed fair marriage, and it seemed like it would sweep the nation. That, you'll recall, didn't last, and then the country went off the deep end and elected George W. Bush president.

I sort of got used to being barred by secret resolution -- you're actually the first person I've told -- from marrying anyone. I was living in Massachusetts when fair marriage became the law there, but quickly moved away; it's only allowed for residents -- I can't name anyone off the top of my head that got married in the state they live in. Today, of course, California became state #2. More panic-inducingly, my home state of Connecticut, which is very close to hand, is about to convert.

This is great news from a human rights standpoint, but, ah... you know.


Rachel said...

Hawaii never actually allowed fair marriage, the case was tied up in the courts and then the amendment was voted in before the final court ruling.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Rachel. Here's the excerpt
This ruling is part of a larger public discussion of "marriage" and "family" that started in 1993 when the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that laws denying same-sex couples the right to marry violated state constitutional equal protection rights unless the state could show a "compelling reason" for such discrimination. In 1996, a trial court ruled that the state had no such compelling reason and the case headed back to the Supreme Court. Voters adopted a Constitutional amendment in 1998, before the final ruling was issued, giving the Legislature the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples and effectively ending the lawsuit.

In April 2000, Vermont approved landmark legislation to recognize civil unions between same-sex couples, granting them virtually all the benefits, protections and responsibilities that married couples have under Vermont law. The Vermont legislation was a result of the state Supreme Court ruling in Baker v. Vermont that said same-sex couples are entitled, under the state constitution's "Common Benefits Clause," to the same benefits and protections as married opposite-sex couples. The court ruled that the Vermont Legislature must decide how to provide these benefits and protections, either by legalizing marriage for same-sex couples or by establishing an alternative system. In April 2005, Connecticut became the first state to legalize civil unions without prompting from the courts.