In addition to New Jersey, the next state at the forefront of marriage equality is Washington State. Governor Christine Gregoire said this month that “It’s time, it is the right thing to do, and I will introduce a bill to do it.”
“Not so fast,” said everyone.
Even though the potential bill has overwhelming Democratic support, and now has support from two key Republican senators (Cheryl Pflug and Steve Litzow), it will still go in front of voters in 2012 for another potential “Prop 8″ telling off. I really appreciate the support of these Republican senators, but the shallowest part of me despises how we have to applaud their courage, like we’re congratulating a kid for stopping shitting himself. Although, if we don’t congratulate them, how will they know to continue not shitting themselves?
If the Prop 8 trial ends soon, and ends with us winning, we can start pulling the plug on these damaging referendums. You can put people’s right up for a popular vote, or you can’t.
Further uncertainty for the good gay people of Washington State continued today with this potentially doom-filled news from Canada. Dan Savage, journalist and gay Washingtonian, has the scoop of shit-flavored ice cream. Allow me to digest it for you all:
*In 2004, Canada began allowing same-sex marriages to foreigners, particularly Americans. For the past seven and a half years, thousands have done so.
*Stephen Harper, the current Canadian Prime Minister, is a social conservative.
*A lesbian couple, a Floridian and and an Englishwoman, wed in Canada in 2005. They sought a divorce this month.
*A Canadian Department of Justice lawyer overseeing the case told them they could not get a divorce because their marriage isn’t valid in Canada…breath…because they aren’t (and can’t) be legally wed in their homes of Florida and England (how the hell did these two cultures find each other in Canada?).
*This apparent about-face of the Canadian government has suddenly, scandalously thrown scary little doubt shadows on the thousands of other gay marriages performed there since 2004.
*Everyone is shitting their pants right now.
This applies most severely to gay residents of Washington State, as they are just over the border and have taken the most advantage. The Great Mr. Savage, creator of the “It Gets Better” Project, married his husband Terry there in 2005. They live in Seattle, and they have a 13-year-old son, whom they adopted from birth. Their Domestic Partnership in Washington State could be tied to their marriage in Canada, and if that is invalidated, their partnership risks invalidation too.
Right now, the Canadian Government is facing a hellish culture war that they couldn’t have launched better if they tried. Prime Minister Harper says he has no interest in re-opening or opening this discussion. There is no word on whether or not this means that this is the chaos set in motion by one rogue lawyer, or that this will now be the law of the land and that’s that. I’m not sure how Canada’s government works like ours, and I hope this doesn’t spell danger.
If it does, then Washington State’s upcoming marriage equality bill will be more important than ever. Its passage and the failure of the referendum are critical. I’ve had enough of this. The back and forth, the uncertainty. The it’s okay here, but not okay here. The fragility of the lawfulness of these families.
2012 must be the end of the road for these creatures. November will be very bloody indeed.