Thursday, March 22, 2012

A win for the good guys

Today the House of Representatives in the US State of New Hampshire’s legislature defeated a bill that would have repealed that state’s 2-year-old marriage equality law, and replace the right to marry with civil unions for same-sex couples. While it was a Republican measure, and some Republicans made typically bigoted pleas for the bill’s passage, some Republicans also stood up for equality.

The House also defeated an attempt to put an advisory referendum on marriage equality on the New Hampshire ballot, handing a second defeat to the anti-gay industry. Too bad, so sad.

Co-chair of Standing Up for New Hampshire Families, Craig Stowell, said, “Today is a banner day for the freedom to marry." Stowell, a former Marine and Iraq War veteran, and a self-described conservative Republican, was energised to fight because his brother is gay. Craig is the epitome of human and humane values (and, I could add, traditional Republican values): Standing up for, and fighting for, family members. He can be seen in the video accompanying this post from December last year. There’s also a YouTube video of him testifying against repeal.

Meanwhile, the spokesbigot for the out-of-state SPLC-listed anti-gay hate group, National Organisation for Man-Lady Only Marriage, said it was “a sad day for New Hampshire families”. Seems to me that the Stowell family, among hundreds of others, kind of proves how out-of-touch that spokesbigot and his group are.

New Hampshire’s law survived in part because of time: It has been in place for two years and repealing it to take rights away from gay people who had had those rights for two years was going too far for many legislators, including some Republicans.

Also, all this advancing success in the fight for marriage equality is inevitable because of another time-related fact: Younger people overwhelmingly support it. As younger people move into positions of power, the rate of support for marriage equality increases, too.

This a battle with an inevitable end: Liberty and justice for all. Clearly the pace of progress in achieving that liberty has picked up speed, one of the few times in my life that I’ve actually seen the tide of public opinion turn. With the bipartisan support like that we saw in New Hampshire appearing in states all over the US, that’s not really a surprise at all. Today was the latest in a series of wins for the good guys. It won’t be the last.

No comments: