Thursday, April 16, 2009

Marriage Equality Update

A lot is still going on, post-VT/IA/DC. Just a run down:

  • California: Initially, it seemed that we would hear from the state Supreme Court on the issue of the legality of Proposition 8 on April 20th, but that has been since refuted. Keep tune to Day of Decision for updates on protest/rally planning the minute we know the decision is coming down. Expectations are low.
  • Maine: The Legistlature's Judicial Committee is expecting a huge turnout next week for the hearing on two bills -- one granting equal marriage, the other granting all the rights of marriage to the state's DP Registry. They even moved the venue from one that could only seat 1300, to one that could seat almost 7000. All eyes will be watching Maine, as expectations are high for marriage next in this state.
  • New Hampshire: The Senate had a few visitors yesterday -- 500 of them, in fact -- pressing the Senate Judiciary Committee to push through the marriage equality bill that has been sent to them (approved) by the Assembly. Gov. John Lynch, who supported NH's civil unions law last year, has said that the word marriage should be restricted to a man and a woman, though has not said whether he would veto this bill. DailyKos ran a bit by a blogger who had attended.
  • New York: Gov. David Paterson will be proposing a bill from the gubernatorial office to the legislature ... for equal marriage. The Assembly of New York has already passed a similar bill, 85 to 61, but the Senate is questionable. The Democrats hold a narrow lead -- 32-30 -- but that doesn't guarantee its passage. Lots of backroom politics there.
  • Wisconsin: The Supreme Court of WI is being asked whether or not the voter-passed Defense of Marriage Act was worded properly. The central argument, it seems, is that it went after two issues -- marriage and civil unions -- rather than just one (state law requires a referendum to only cover a single subject). Expectations are dicey, but it seems that there are plans in place for a statewide DP Registry with some of the benefits of marriage attached.
  • Washington State: After huge votes in both the Senate (30-18) and House (65-32), a bill giving all the rights of marriage to legally registered domestic partners in the state. Gov. Christine Gregoire has stated that she plans to sign the bill.

In other news, it seems that marriage activists in New York and New Jersey are embarassed by the passage of equal marriage in Vermont and Iowa, and not in those states first. I think appropriately so. And the news out of the midwest?


1 comment:

Merideth said...

"They even moved the venue from one that could only seat 1300, to one that could seat almost 7000."
Dang. Isn't that, like, Maine's entire population?

But seriously. Um. The Midwest, aside from Iowa? I guess Ohio's legislature will be reconsidering the EHEA. So maybe we, uh, won't be second to last any more when it comes to statewide LGBTQ rights and protections (thanks, Arkansas, for sucking even more than us). Nothing to do with marriage, but something to do with legislative protection.