Friday, September 16, 2011

Forward, to the past

Michigan House votes to ban domestic partner benefits

I don't get this.  For the past year, national polls measuring views on full marriage equality, when the choices are simply yes or no, come up about evenly divided. Northeast & West Coast are more in favor than South & Midwest.  But when there are three choices; full marriage equality, domestic partnerships / civil unions,  or no recognition,  around  a whopping 70% of Americans favor some kind of legal recognition for gay & lesbian couples. The hinge remains the word marriage.  In Michigan, the legislature is acting against the preferences of a large majority of its constituents.

 Michiganders & Americans support basic legal rights & protections for same sex couples. Approving a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man & a woman, as Michigan did,  doesn't change that. A lot of straight people, mainly over the age of 40,  have problems applying the word  marriage to same sex couples.  Michigan voted against gay marriage, not against civil unions, & if they were polled today  it's  what the polls would indicate.  Most Americans by large margin  want same sex couples recognized in some way  as legitimate households, if not as husband & husband or wife & wife.  True, Michigan has some very rural districts. In New Jersey, I doubt if  any Republican has been elected to the statehouse with a mandate to roll back Jersey's civil union laws (despite what a few of them may believe), as he or she did not win  election  based on that issue.  I suspect the same applies for most Republican legislators in Michigan.  A large majority of Jerseyans support our civil union  legislation, & there's been remarkably little complaint about it.  It went into effect, we accepted it.

If there's a problem in Michigan defining a domestic partnership, if the state civil service commission  has defined it in such a way that it  could result in an abuse of benefits by couples that are not really committed "partners," the state legislature should deal with that matter & tighten the eligibility requirements with some stronger contractual standards, not use it as an excuse for homo-bigotry.

Unless The United States morphs into a theocratic police state, always a possibility if we stay on the road we're traveling,  the next few generations of Americans  will be repealing all these anti-marriage equality laws & amendments, except  in Mississippi.

Labels: , ,

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?