Monday, December 21, 2009

2009 Same-Sex Marriage Wrap Up

I’ve totally been off the radar for this blog, so my apologies to the one or two person who come and visit occasionally. You know who you are.

But as we come to the end of the year, I figure this is a good time as any to play catch-up and mention some of the highlights in the battle for marriage equality.

Gracias Mexico City. Let’s start with the latest news, and that’s Mexico City has approved legislation to legalize same-sex marriage, the first Latin American city to do that. (Buenos Aires legalizes civil unions and has been working on legalizing same-sex marriages.) Like other legislation passed (especially in the United States), it’s subject to the signature of the mayor. But it looks good, given that the mayor is from the left-leaning party called the Democratic Revolution Party. This is an amazing accomplish given the strong Catholic roots in Mexico.

The Capital Leads the Way. Earlier this month, Washington, D.C.’s city council also passed legislation to allow same-sex marriages. It’s symbolic that in the city that hosts Congress, the city council has more guts than Congress to recognize the civil rights of their citizens. Opponents, of course, are acting like poor losers and are lobbying Congress to overturn the new law. (D.C., apparently not having much control of its own jurisdiction, can get their laws vetoed by Congress. That sucks.) But Congress is likely to not get into it, doing their typical position of looking the other way.

2010 or 2012? So the LGBT community is torn about when to put the same-sex marriage issue up to California voters again since the devastating passage of Prop. 8. Groups that were pushing for a 2010 ballot measure have fallen out, mostly because of funding issues and probably some post-Prop 8 fatigue. (There’s still one group collecting signature, but not sure how much support they’ll have to launch a campaign to garner the majority votes needed.) I believe that it may take some time to get a strong showing, so 2012 may be the better year to ask the question again. But I also believe that in the civil rights movement, you can’t take a break. The inequality must always be exposed. And even if it’s on the losing end (such as in Maine recently), at least we kept the issue out there and those who vote against loving same-sex couples will have to go to bed at night knowing that they stand for discrimination.

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