Gay Marriage: Today, Hawaii And Maryland; Tomorrow, The World

Well golly gee but this has been a big week for homosexuals/queermos who are desirous of marrying other homosexual/queermos! First there was Obama’s Big Day Out wherein he announced that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional, thus setting in motion the first stage of its eventual repeal. Also, Ted Olson and David Boies are pursuing lifting the stay on same-sex marriages in California – which would enable gay couples who have been waiting for months since Prop 8 was originally declared unconstitutional to finally marry while we wait for the appeals process to sort itself out. I know I know wasn’t that exciting? But YOU GUYS that’s not even all! Girl. You’re gonna get so married girl you don’t even know.

Places you will maybe soon be able to get married or otherwise legally united in a matrimony type situation include: Maryland! A measure to legalize gay marriage has already passed the state Senate, and passed to the Maryland House of Representatives on Friday. It needs to be voted on by the House Judiciary Committee and also the full House of Representatives, but if it can pass both those things, Governor Martin O’Malley has said that he would sign the bill into law. So far the House Judiciary Committee has been petitioned by six openly gay members of the House to pass the bill, in a brave and admirable union of the personal and political.

In Hawaii, civil unions were finally signed into law by Governor Neil Abercrombie. It will go into effect on January 1, 2012, and Governor Abercrombie has described it as “the essence of the Aloha spirit.” This bill has been attempted previously, but the former governor of Hawaii consistently vetoed it, in accordance with the 70% of Hawaiians who believe marriage should be between a man and a woman.

Civil unions were also signed into law in Illinois earlier this month. For some, the satisfaction of these victories is mitigated by the fact that we’re being offered civil unions, and not marriage. Regardless of your feelings about whether they’re “separate but equal” or not, civil unions may have an important part to play in terms of progress towards marriage, and our general state of being in the US. Here’s an article about what it means that Hawaii and Illinois have civil unions instead of marriage, and how we should feel about it.

If it seems like a sudden landslide of victories, that’s because it is. No one really expected a sudden surge of political support for marriage equality; it seemed like we were going to have to settle for incremental progress, same as we always had. But politicians are throwing themselves into support for same-sex marriage and unions, on the state and federal level. Some have theorized that it all comes down to votes; the 2012 elections are looming, and there’s suspicion that Obama is just courting the gay voting bloc with a DADT repeal and some measurable progress towards ending DOMA. But realistically, the queer vote doesn’t have enough of a headcount to win or lose an election on its own, and at first glance it seems like this move would anger more social conservatives than it does win over queers or liberals.

However, some experts argue that times are simply changing; a combination of factors like the rise of a younger, more socially liberal generation of Republicans care less about gay marriage than their parents did, and attitudinal shifts (exemplified by Jenna Bush and Megan McCain’s public support of equal rights) demonstrate that gay issues may be more divisive within the Republican party now than a gulf between Republicans and Democrats. As early as 2004, political strategists in the Bush administration were advising that equal marriage just wasn’t going to cut it as a wedge issue. Maybe, just maybe, politicians are supporting same-sex marriage not because they think it will win or lose a particular demographic, but because they can finally afford to do what they’ve wanted to all along.


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Rachel is Autostraddle's Managing Editor and the editor who presides over news & politics coverage. Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

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53 Comments

  1. It’s time. Onward to full marriage equality rights now.

    Cheers, Joe Mustich, CT Justice of the Peace.
    Kudos to CT for supporting SSm since 2008.

    And the marriage police need to retire…now.

  2. You know I’m under 21…I want to drink alcohol! But…the alcohol police keep bothering me…should they retire too?? Maybe underage drinking should be passed too…we all deserve equal rights after all.

    • hey, so go for it….make it 18 dude…

      if you can fight in Bush-Obama wars, you can drink too.

      but the marriage cops, AKA, bedroom police, need to retire, and play some golf, maybe in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean….

  3. Well to tell you the truth, I’m not even old enough to do that… but now that I think about it…why cant I? Lets lower the age limits on being drafted to 16 too! And push for lowering the age limits on marriage while were at it! If homosexuals can get married, then why can’t I? Actually, I really really like my cousin Nancy…I think I’ll push for marrying relatives also.

    Now of course I’m not really for any of those things and I dont have a cousin named Nancy, but I’m trying to prove a point. If this bill keeps getting passed, where is the limit?? Soon enough (and I mean very very soon) the U.S. is going to dig itself into a hole waaaay to deep to dig itself back out of, and…I’m very scared.

    • Marrying your first cousin is legal in about half of the states. If you are under 18 most states also let you marry with your parents’ written consent. Also slippery slope arguments are FAIL.

  4. Dude, if you want to marry your cousin Nancy or your dog Nancy, go for it…petition the government and your house of worship too.

    However, as a Justice of the Peace, I officiate at the weddings of couples who come to CT from all across the country, many of whom have been together for 20, 30 and 45 years..How many non same sex couples can claim those many years…?

    Actually, my parents are about to celebrate 59 years together; and my spouse and I, 32.

    In America, marriage is primarily a civil and contractual matter, as marriage licenses are issued by and recorded in town halls not houses of worship.

    If you want to include your religion and gods when you get married to your finance, or Nancy..so be it..

    It’s the 21st century, and on to other issues…too..

    Cheers, off for a jog…Joe

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  6. Jos. A. Mustich, CT Justice of the Peace, I did not even tell you what my religion was. I have not said anything relating to my religion, or what god I believe in. I am speaking to you solely on the principles of what this country was built upon and how it was formed. I care about this country and I want it to prosper and to grow. Letting same sex marriage become legal would go directly against just that.

    Same Sex Marriage is a life style. It has nothing to do with equal rights. It is not a religion and it is not an ethnicity. If same sex marriage is truly related to equal rights, then I should be able to do things that I am not privileged to have right now either. Let a 16 year old gamble. Let me drink. Let me marry my sister. Let me marry my FATHER. These are extremes but…if you support same sex marriage and want this bill to be passed…then all of this other stuff will eventually come. And it will be the end of America.

    If you truly care about Our country, you will not support this. Please, the future of our country is at stake. Don’t let this happen.

    “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”(George Washington, 1st President of the United States)

    • Josh, since you dredged up a Washington quote and used it to support your theocractic, moralistic view on this subject, I feel that a Jefferson quote is in order.

      I have no doubt that Thomas Jefferson, were he alive today, would be in favor of marriage equality.

      “But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

      -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

    • Hey Josh,

      Can you seriously argue with the straight face that the end of America will come when you can drink and gamble at 16? Don’t most people with privilege and money do so anyway? Want to marry your sister? Take your silly ass down to City Hall and figure that shit out. Has nothing to do with anything. The future of our country is at stake so long as we have people like you basing the future of our country on something as basic as someone else’s right to marry another person.

      And in case you haven’t noticed, with all of the shit lurking around in America’s basement (including racism, sexism, classism and homophobia), this country is already damned. Where the fuck do you think we live now? Some morally pleasant utopia? Man, please.

  7. Cat, the reason I ‘dredged’ up a quote from George Washington is because as Americans we should recognize the beliefs of our founding fathers and the views and morals upon which our country was structured. Even though this is the 21st century, the views of our founding fathers are just as important as the latest and greatest speech being read of the telecoms by our latest President, Barack Obama.

    Once again, I am not bringing my religion or any gods or what have you into this conversation. I do not believe in a theocratic form of government. However, I must agree with you when you say I am moralistic. All of our founding fathers were very moral as well. Some were religious like George Washington and others weren’t, but EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM had very strong, moral beliefs. Thomas Jefferson is actually a very good example of this. Our 3rd President once wrote that the teachings of Jesus (from the bible) contain the “outlines of a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man.” I do not know if you know who Jesus is, but I can tell you that he was a very strict believer in marriage of the opposite sex.

    Putting religion aside, Our founding fathers created the foundations of this government based upon principles that upheld the highest of moral standards, and to legalize same sex marriage would go directly against the foundations of our country. What happens when you destroy the foundations of a structure? I think the answer to that is self-exclamatory.

    Don’t support this. As one of the many youth of this nation, I am pleading with you to not leave a legacy that will destroy this country.

    • Oh my god! Your clear logic and superior moral values have hearkened upon my ears like the very trumpet of Gabriel! Never before have I seen things so clearly- my faith in this sinful, shameful lifestyle of mine have been shattered! Forgive me, o Lord for never before have I opened my heart and mind to the wise words of men who, despite their unchanging convictions about the vice that is homosexuality, nevertheless take the time to stalk a lesbian website, contributing at least half of the comments on this page.

    • I am pleading with you to recognize that people are hurting because they cannot openly be who they are! I know I won’t change your views in a few short sentences, but please give this a thought. What if you woke up one morning, and realized you were gay, and that the church you love and have been raised in all your life will never treat you the same again? And now every time you go to Bible fellowship, you hear the whispers; every time you walk in the door you see your pastor’s wife walking away because she doesn’t want to greet you anymore; they send you to therapy to “fix” you, as if were that simple and you could wish this away? Or as if it were a choice… if you had the fellowship of God’s holy community ripped away from you simply because of who you are, wouldn’t you be scrambling for any little bit of legitimacy you could find? Even if it is from the hands of a government, rather than God’s Church. I’m not saying I accept my own sexuality or ever will so much as attempt to practice it, but I can definitely understand why someone would, and would want it recognized, affirmed, and accepted.

      Peace be with you, Josh.

    • -Our 3rd President once wrote that the teachings of Jesus (from the bible) contain the “outlines of a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man.”- yeah, i think what he is referring to is, um, EQUALITY? and maybe, treat your neighbour as yourself? that is a system of sublime morality for sure. also one taught by all major world religions, not just christianity.

      and um, “I do not know if you know who Jesus is, but I can tell you that he was a very strict believer in marriage of the opposite sex” – i’m pretty sure we’ve all heard of him, and i’m fully sure that jesus never said anything about same sex or opposite sex marriage josh. fully sure.

  8. Luna, I do not want to marry my sister. I was simply using that as an example to prove a point.

    By the way, Historically speaking, if you look at many of the great and successful empires that have been created and then destroyed, you can see proof that as their Morality went down the drain…so did their empires.

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  11. Rawrosaureins, I feel for you and can not even start to understand what you are going through at this moment. It is very sad hear that your own church has acted as you have said. I truly do sympathize with you.

    To just wake up one day and realize you were inclined to the same sex would be very difficult to deal with as well. I must ask you a question though. If a man was to wake up and realize that he was prone to being sexually inclined towards little children, should he seek to make that acceptable and legal? If a man was to wake up and feel inclined to kill someone he hated, even his own child, should he seek to make that legal as well? There is a fundamental problem with this accusation.

    Please understand that I am making no personal attack against you. I don’t know you personally and if anything, all I can feel is sorrow for you and what you are going through. But I must make a point. Just because you are prone to do something, doesn’t mean it is right and should freely be allowed in society for all to practice. A person addicted to drugs can not freely use drugs and a person who wants to steal cannot freely steal without being effected by the consequences. Why then should same sex marriage be accepted as legal and right?

    Once again, I truly feel for you and the situation you have to deal with. I do not want you to feel attacked.

    As a youth of the nation, I do not want to be left with a legacy that is headed for potential destruction. Please just consider what I have to say.

    • I do not feel atacked, Josh. I’ve been waiting a long time to find someone rational I could discuss this with. They can be… hard to find. Moving on:

      I think there is a fundamental difference between same-sex attraction and the examples you have proposed. Firstly, the people who choose to participate in homosexual sex are overwhelmingly consenting adults. I don’t think anyone on this website condones child abuse. Also, in contrast with your example of legalizing murder, no one is physically harmed or maimed in acts of homosexual sex, much less killed. (And AIDS is not a valid point here, heteros can get and transmit that as much as anybody else, to say that it is the wrath of God upon gay people is ridiculous and lopsided.)

      So then, if these people are not hurting anyone else, and they love each other so obviously, why should I deny them the pleasure and comfort my continuous feelings of guilt will not allow me? Should I be so bitter? Forbid it, Lord.

  12. vitaminb, I did not want to offend you in any way.

    It is true that Jesus never specifically addressed the issue of same sex marriage. But if you truly accept who Jesus is and what he has done for each and every one of us, you understand that he is a part of the Trinity, the God of the old testament of the bible and that he holds the same beliefs as he always has. This means that Jesus does in fact believe that “homosexuality” is wrong. Paul talks about this in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

    I did not want to preach to anyone, I just wanted to express my concerns for this country. As a youth of this nation I am very concerned with the legacy that is going to be left for us to deal with, one that could and very likely lead us to destruction.

    • If you don’t approve of same-sex marriage, don’t marry someone who’s the same sex as yourself.

      If you don’t think same-sex marriages can be Christian, don’t attend churches that marry same-sex couples.

      If you don’t like what’s happening in America, leave.

      I hope that helps clear up some of your concerns. God bless you. <3

  13. So I was reading all of these comments and some crazy man is trying to convince us all that we are under the same influence as someone who has sex with children against their will? Look here you creep. Get off of a lesbian website and go tell everyone else about your beliefs about our country. If you don’t like the revolution get the fuck out of the U.S.
    Jesus loves me and I hope everyone that is in love gets to marry whoever the hell they want. PS I refuse to say that I will be in a civil union and will someone domestic partnership me. I’ll be married damn it. TO MY WIFE. and we’ll have sex with no penises so THERE.

  14. FUCK YEAH FOR HAWAII ’cause I live here, and to ALL THE HOMOGAYS AND THE WORLD, especially to those who did their best to make this happen inspite of the douchebags that stood on their way. FUCK YEAAAAAAAHHHH!!

    *I just had a bad day, and this article cheers me up. Thank you Rachel and Autostraddle. :'((

  15. Go Hawai’i!!! I live here too!

    I also just read a teen book ‘Name Me Nobody’ by local author Lois-Ann Yamanaka which has one lesbian character, recommended by my 14 year old sister (one of her reading assignments). It’s definetly a great honest read about adolescence, acceptance and friendship.

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