Hooray for New Hampshire! Now the rest of New England is going to go to work peer pressuring Rhode Island. C’mon, Rhodey, all the cool states are doing it. Don’t you want to hang with us? You’re nothing without us. In fact, I think you’re Massachusetts’ new West South Coast.
Pack is back! But he’s too damaged to reattach, so the city will have to commission a replacement. I hope someone takes up a collection for that $8-10,000, because I doubt there’s any duckling money in the stimulus package. However, I asked for eight ducklings, and eight ducklings is what I got.
The weather for game time looks OK. Not great, but the chance of precipitation is only 20%, which means Opening Day will probably actually happen. Finally. Unfortunately for me, Second Monday is known to the rest of the world as Tuesday, which means I have to go to class and miss most of the game.
And the Vermont legislature overrode the governor’s veto, legalizing gay marriage in a fourth state (third in New England. I’m just saying. And what I’m saying is, we’re awesome.). Woohoo! It was a real squeaker, getting through the House by just one vote. I can’t wait to see the wedding pictures.
And to recap the rest of New England: Massachusetts and Connecticut, obviously, are already down with marriage equality. Maine and New Hampshire offer domestic partnership protections and civil unions, respectively, and both are considering legislation to open marriage to everyone. Rhode Island is the only New England state not currently making progress toward a measure of legal equality for same-sex couples, and I have no idea why. I do know, however, that Rhode Island is the tiniest state in the union, and if it doesn’t get moving on this issue soon enough, the rest of New England will gang up on it and stuff it in a locker until it sees reason.
AUGUSTA, Maine—State Sen. Dennis Damon is introducing a bill to end the prohibition on gay marriage in Maine. House Republican Josh Tardy, meanwhile, is proposing to bolster the state law restricting marriage to one man and one woman by making it a constitutional amendment.
The dueling proposals ensure that gay marriage will be hotly debated this legislative session.
As it stands, Maine has a domestic partnership registry that’s open to gay couples. But that’s not enough for gay marriage supporters. Damon says it’s time to “fully end discrimination in Maine.”
Gay marriage is being debated elsewhere in the region.
In New Hampshire, a bill’s been submitted to replace the term “civil union” with “marriage” in the state’s 1-year-old civil union law. Vermont, the first state to recognize same-sex couples with its civil unions law, is now likely to consider a gay marriage bill.
Tardy’s competing bill is admittedly depressing, but I think Damon’s has a fighting chance. Maine is more Republican than the rest of New England, but that’s mostly due to fiscal conservativism. If you want to help things along, you can email Senator Damon to tell him you support his measure or (politely!*) ask Representative Tardy not to enshrine bigotry in the state constitution. Obviously this is especially important for constituents, but even if you’re not a Mainer it’s still valuable to let those on the side of equality know they’re not alone, and let those trying to legislate hate know that their bigotry won’t be condoned.
If things go well, marriage equality could be the status quo in five out of six New England states by the end of the year. What’s up with you laggers in Rhode Island? Get with the program!
*I say “politely” because although I know outrage over this issue is absolutely warranted, feeding someone’s fantasy that they’re a persecuted crusader for an unpopular moral right just encourages them to never accept defeat.