5.15.2009

But what if the cater waiters mutiny?

Oh, goodie. It looks like New England really is going to be the epicenter for marriage equality in the United States. From the Times:
Gov. John Lynch of New Hampshire said Thursday that he would sign the state’s same-sex marriage bill if it was amended to further shield opponents from having to take part in ceremonies celebrating such unions.

Legislative leaders said they would allow the changes, all but ensuring that New Hampshire will become the sixth state where marriage between gay men or lesbians is legal.
I am happy about this for a variety of reasons. First of all, simply for the merits of having marriage equality in another state. But more selfishly, the more states that legalize same-sex marriage, the more fronts the anti-equality crowd will have to fight, thus diluting the power of their money and their organizing efforts. It's a lot harder to fight newly-minted gay marriage laws in four states than it was to fight in California alone, even if the latter is an extremely expensive media market. So, the more states make it legal, the less likely it is to be overturned in any one state (like Maine, my happy home).

The language Gov. Lynch wants added would make religious exemptions from performing same-sex marriages more explicit. To quote my friend Mary (yes, I'm name-dropping... sue me):
Mary Bonauto, civil rights project director for Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, a legal group in Boston, said Mr. Lynch’s proposed changes to the New Hampshire law were “not a big deal.”

“Current law essentially provides these protections,” Ms. Bonauto said. “If making it more explicit gives people some peace of mind, so be it.”
But what I particularly like is this, from the opposition:
“However the governor wishes to couch his decision on this,” Mr. Smith said, “the fact remains that by signing this bill, he will have broke his trust with New Hampshire voters after repeatedly stating that he opposes gay marriage. This amendment does nothing to protect the religious liberties of independent business owners, such as photographers and caterers, who in good conscience cannot perform their services for same-sex marriage ceremonies.”
I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- if you own a business, and are too determined to stick to your bigotry to accept my money, then I'm more than happy to give it to someone else. I don't really see the state of New Hampshire needing to force florists (a faction known to be hostile to gay men) to provide services for same-sex weddings. Sometimes the free market really does work all on its own.

1 comment:

  1. GraphJam on the Gay Agenda:

    http://graphjam.com/2009/05/11/song-chart-memes-gay-agenda/

    ReplyDelete