Wednesday, May 08, 2013

WATCH: History Of Marriage Equality Laws In United States

With Delaware's dramatic movement yesterday to become the 11th state to enact marriage equality since 2003 (and the second state this year after Rhode Island) it's a good time to look back at how far the issue of marriage equality has come in the last four decades. The cool graphic created by The Atlantic (shown above) does just that.

For the record these are the years and states that have enacted marriage equality:

*California had marriage equality from June 15, 2008 to November 5, 2008. California is the only state where same-sex couples have had the right to marry and then have had that right revoked by the passage of Proposition 8. Whether Proposition 8 is constitutional is a question the United States Supreme Court is currently considering, in the case Hollingsworth v Perry

As I reviewed the 11 states that have enacted marriage equality I noticed that the only Republican governor to sign a marriage equality bill into law was Jodi Rell of Connecticut, and she did so after the state Supreme Court had already enacted marriage equality and the legislature passed a bill codifying the Kerrigan decision. Republican governors in California (2005 and 2007), New Jersey (2011) and Vermont (2009) have all vetoed marriage equality bills. Only Governor Jim Douglas's veto has been over-ridden. Chris Christie's veto is subject to override until January 2014 and may happen.

All 11 states that have passed marriage equality are "blue states," i.e. states that consistently vote for Democratic candidates for president. Iowa is probably the least blue of these states, and is primarily a red state at the state level. New Hampshire is probably purplish-blue, and has had a Republican legislature since marriage equality was enacted. These are probably the two states where marriage equality is the most vulnerable to repeal efforts. However, in the last few years the movement has been in the direction of more marriage equality. In fact, since 2004 every year has ended with more people living in jurisdictions that allow same-sex couples than the year before. Does anyone think that process is going to be reversed? Only bigoted heterosexual supremacists, but they are quickly receding into a vortex of delusion, denial and demagoguery.

All eyes are now looking at Illinois and Minnesota where there are Democratic majorities in the legislature and Democratic governors eager to sign marriage equality bills into law. And California may have marriage equality after June's Supreme Court decision. In 2014, there will be ballot measures on marriage equality in Oregon, Nevada (and possibly California).

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin