Monday, July 20, 2009

Marriage Equality ... in Kentucky?

Marriage Equality Kentucky (TM) has announced a public petition to remove the voter-approved Constitutional Amendment 233A, voted for in 2004, which limits the definition of marriage in that state as between one man and one woman.

You might remember that there was a host of states in 2004 that passed marriage amendments ranging from just banning marriage -- Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, and Oregon -- to banning marriage and civil unions -- Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Utah -- to all contracts -- Michigan. It was perceived then, as now, as a move to bring out the radical right to the voting booth and push George W. Bush into his second term as President. It worked.

Kentucky is one of the few states actually moving to repeal, at this point, it seems. I have heard nothing from any of the above states listed. In my own opinion, it is too early for marriage, though I am not against the attempt made. I think a lot of these states lack in the very basic protections for LGBTQ folks. Ohio itself is still facing a shockingly uphill battle just receiving employment and housing protections for sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. Public accomodations and hate crimes on a statewide level, word is, is further down the line. And the adoption fight is very real in some of those states; Ohio itself may soon be threatened with right wingers banning gay folk from adopting.

In a world where we seem to have the support of most voters in theory, it's amazing how slow we've been able to turn that support into action, isn't it?

But back to the point...

Marriage Equality Kentucky (TM), under the funding of a friend of this blog, the Kentucky Equality Federation, is starting a petition to repeal Constitutional Amendment 233A. If you are a Kentucky resident and believe in marriage equality, I recommend you sign it. The petition will be organized by zip code an presented to the Kentucky legislature.

1 comment:

Jordan Palmer, Kentucky Equality Federation said...

Thanks Barry. To be clear, it could be 2012 before the signatures reach the critical mass needed.

As far as a statewide fairness bill, the federal definition will be extended before the state definition is. This is also the feeling of my contacts with organizations in Pennsylvania, Florida, South Carolina, California, etc.

Gay marriage is a different story however; with every survey we conduct, gay marriage is the # 1 issue with Kentucky's LGBTI community. In addition, most advocates, especially those in Congress, feel the federal DOMA will be modified to recognize gay marriage if the state you live in recognizes it. Marriage has always been an institution exclusively legislated by the several states, a point the Commonwealth of Massachusetts also made clear in their lawsuit against the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government must accept each states 'definition of marriage' and the chances of the U.S. Supreme Court attempting to alter that (as with interracial marriage) are nil.