Thursday, April 21, 2005

Civil unions in Connecticut

Yesterday, Connecticut passed a law permitting same-sex civil unions. Although not quite gay marriage and discriminatory in some aspects, the new law is a major step forward for gay rights. Although Vermont and Massachusetts recognize some form of civil unions or gay marriage, both did so only after their state courts ordered them to do so. In Connecticut, however, the state legislature passed the bill and the governor signed it into law, all without the prodding of the courts.

With states like Connecticut now on the horizon, a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex unions would be decidedly anti-democratic. This turns the anti-democratic argument back against gay rights opponents, who had argued that court-ordered recognition of same-sex unions is anti-democratic. That is why the Connecticut law is such a huge triumph for the gay rights movement -- it sheds what was long their weakest point, that the courts seemed to be their only friend. But now that they are starting to get state legislatures on their side, their position suddenly looks a lot stronger.

3 Comments:

Blogger bum from jersey said...

Dude, you are f'ing jaded its not even funny. This isn't going to set back the constitutional amendment movement any bit. Thats like saying Massachuessetts is a swing state. Connecticut is in the northeast - its not that suprising they would allow such a union to take place, just as it is no suprise massachuessetts will vote for a democrat for president even if he is incompetent.

Now, if a Nebraska or Iowa, or any other 'red state' allowed civil unions, then you can say this could be a step back but as of now, nothing has changed.

4/21/2005 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger Ha ha hit him again said...

yea bleeding Kansas

4/21/2005 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger putonyourspecs said...

As a factual matter, you are correct that this would have had a much larger impact if this had been Nebraska, for example. As it was, Connecticut's legalization of same-sex unions got barely any press coverage.

The point I was making was rather that the argument for a constitutional amendment up until now has largely been that it is necessary in order to rein in "out of control" judges, safeguarding democracy in the process. With Connecticut enacting this new law through democratic means, this argument falls apart.

4/21/2005 09:28:00 PM  

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