Equality Opponents Continue to Creep Out of the Woodwork
By Katherine Dean
Even as supporters of gay marriage continue to call for equality in state after state, those who remain staunchly opposed to progress and equal rights for all are ramping up their efforts to prevent gays and lesbians from marrying.
Just last week…
The Maryland House Judiciary Committee rejected an attempt by Republican Delegate Don Dwyer to impeach state Attorney General Douglas Gansler. In February, Gansler issued a legal opinion asserting that Maryland should recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions. Gansler, a democrat and gay marriage supporter, is up for re-election in November and is, so far, running unopposed.
In New Jersey, three GOP lawmakers filed a motion opposing a lawsuit brought by six gay and lesbian couples claiming that civil unions are not equal to marriage. In a 2006 decision (Lewis v. Harris), the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously agreed that it is unconstitutional to deny gays and lesbians the rights afforded opposite-sex couples. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, as well as the New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission assert that civil unions have failed to live up to the Supreme Court’s mandate and do not provide equal treatment under the law; they are pushing for same-sex marriage. Hmmm … separate is inherently unequal? Seems like we’ve heard this one before.
As proponents of gay marriage were preparing to celebrate in Iowa, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats was readying his anti-equality message. Vander Plaats has promised that, if elected this November, he will sign an executive order halting the issue of marriage licenses to gay couples his first day in office. That’s right, his first order of business will not be ensuring safety, liberty, justice and jobs for Iowans. Rather, he’ll work steadfastly to deny gays and lesbians their civil rights.
The gay marriage debate seems to be heating up the GOP Senate race in California. With June’s primary in sight, the National Organization for Marriage (an outfit that supported the Prop 8 charge) is pouring $300,000 into ads attacking candidate Tom Campbell, a former U.S. Congressman and gay marriage supporter. Campbell’s opponents include former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and state Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, both of whom oppose gay marriage. Campbell, who has stated that the “government has no business making distinctions between people based on their personal lives,” believes that issues other than gay marriage, such as the economy and unemployment will be foremost in Californian’s minds when they cast their ballots this summer. June’s primary will decide which GOP candidate will challenge Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer in November.
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