If the wind doesn’t change in the next month, Washington State will join Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Iowa, New York and Washington D.C. to become the seventh state that holds gay marriage laws. The House has the votes to approve it, the Governor will sign it, and the Senate yesterday found their 25th declared YES vote to secure passage. Democratic Senator Mary Haugen heard yesterday’s Senate Committee testimonies, and despite many flagrant attempts at misinformation (see below), she declared that the time had come to ”reconcile my religious beliefs with my beliefs as an American, as a legislator, and as a wife and mother who cannot deny to others the joys and benefits I enjoy.”
Ah, the old “as a wife and mother” trick, finally working in the gays’ favor. Can’t debate “as a wife and mother.” Well done.
Whatever her reasons, history only remembers if you got the votes or if you didn’t, and we got those votes. Now, re-plug the champagne bottle. These are only theoretical votes still, and the bill won’t actually be voted on for at least another two weeks.
And still, the larger game looms: keeping it. A “Prop 8″ style ballot measure is already on the way for November, and if it passes, Washington will join California and Maine as fallen comrades. We must organize immediately against the fist and/or cane-shakers. If the Senate Committee hearing was any indication, the ghoulish speculation and outrageous lies will be out in full force.
Some notable moments from the hearing, courtesy of the spectacular Dominic Holden of [Washington-based] The Stranger:
NOTE: Most of these will be negative, as they are by far the juiciest peaches on the tree, tailor-made to get our blood up. Sorry, pro-arguments, you were too rooted in science, evidence and even-handedness to make the cut.
*Pastor Ken “Gays are Trying to Put a Bullet in the Head of Marriage” Hutcherson: “Amend the bill to allow ‘religious liberties’ that allow businesses to refuse service to gays.”
He pre-empted anyone immediately thinking about “whites-only diners” by thumbing his nose at the idea that civil rights could belong to a group of people other than African Americans. Slick foresight!
*”The lifespan of a homosexual is half the lifespan of a non-homosexual. [It] destroys families and destroys societies.” — Some guy
Funnily enough, this was not the first time in the debate that a person gave testimony that was either thirty years old, clearly without modern fact, completely not germane to the bill being discussed, or all beautiful three.
*”Block the bill because NAMBLA wants it too pass. They have a plan.” — Another guy
Now, this is a tricky one. NAMBLA (The North American Man/Boy Love Association), a group of pederasts basically, or literally, is a hot name to drop in a room like this. However, there is no evidence that NAMBLA supports this bill, but that hardly matters to this crowd.
*Regarding kids with no mothers or fathers, “You have to have a strong foundation to have good fruit.” — Another person with no evidence
Where are the results that say kids who grow up in a gay household are rudderless, lacking in education and proper adjustment? Again, adoptions are already allowed for gays. All this bill would do is give those kids a better financial leg up. But if they allowed a bill that helped them out financially, that would be devastating to their case that kids raised in gay families are disadvantaged. It’s such a Wonderlandian cycle.
*Family Policy Institute director Joseph Blackholm: “After considering why the fence was erected, [voters] will conclude that the fence should not be torn down.”
Why someone trying to say that this bill doesn’t discriminate would refer to it, on public record, as a literal fence, escaped everyone on both sides of the fence.
*Then, a nun went up to the Senate Committee chair, opened a Bible and read about Sodom and Gomorrah. For real. She then says it’s “Adam and Eve,” not “Eve and Susan.”
See, this nun may be anti-gay, but she’s also a feminist. She decided to breach etiquette slightly and go for something less common than “Adam and Steve.” Unfortunately, “Eve and Susan” has no panache. Don’t quit your day job, Sister. Or your All the Time job.
Some notables on the plus side:
*Rabbi Jonathan Singer: “There are times to look into our spiritual mirror and see that we are the ones who are oppressing.”
The rest of Rabbi Singer’s testimony couldn’t be heard over the sounds of tumbleweeds rolling around in Pastor Hutcherson’s head.
*”The same rights me and my wife enjoy should be extended to [our son's] partner.” — A self-identified conservative Republican man, describing that his son’s partner suffered an aneurysm and is being cared for by them.
A touching story. That should be enough.
All the opposition can come up with is wild hypotheticals. The downfall of society? Six states already have marriage equality, and the world hasn’t ended. The tearing apart of marriages? Seems to me that the only gays that destroy marriages are the ones who marry women.
Your next move, Washington.
P.S. An addendum to yesterday’s article on Catholic archbishops making all priests take the same tack on the marriage debate, Mr. Holden of The Stranger reports that he’s receiving letters from Washington parishioners who are now withholding their yearly donations and writing letters to their priests and the archbishop. A big, strong thank you to those Catholics willing to stand up for their beliefs.
As Mr. Holden puts it: “The worst thing that happens is that you’re punished for spreading a message of love and doing what you know is right. That’s what that Christ guy was all about, right?”