Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Great Day for Gay Rights

As some of you may already know, gay marriage, not civil unions or domestic partnerships, but gay marriage has become legal in Washington DC. Also, within the same 24 hour period, churches in the UK were granted the right to celebrate UK Civil Partnerships if they so chose, a choice which was previously denied to them. And one more whopper, As of today, it's legal in Mexico City. Try that on for size!

The District of Columbia will be joining Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont as a place where same sex marriages are preformed. The congressional review period has already passed, and the measure passed in the DC Council with near unanimity. Is this a change in general American opinion? Unfortunately, not really. DC has always been very liberal and moderately pro-gay. But it's still significant. 10% of US States now have legal gay marriage, and now our nations capital city has it too.

Because of the new DC law, Maryland is considering whether it should be changing it's laws to recognize same sex marriages preformed in other states. Meanwhile, this provides great momentum for the 2012 ballot fights in Oregon and California. But what this really means to me is hope.

It provides me with a sense of hope that maybe some day there won't be discrimination anymore. Living in Portland, where with the exception of marriage rights we're treated as equals, it's easy to forget about the plight of Gay people in other parts of the country. Firing somebody, or even being impolite to somebody for that matter, because they're gay is inconceivable here. I look forward to the day when it's like that everywhere. And that's not to say anything about equal tax treatment or employment benefits!

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