Gay Rights Update: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good: Washington
Lambda Legal said today that briefs from dozens of groups urging the Washington State Supreme Court to allow same-sex couples to marry show an “extraordinary level of support” for marriage equality among a wide range of people in the state.

About 150 leading organizations and individuals signed onto 15 friend-of-the-court briefs that were filed in the Washington State Supreme Court in support of marriage for same-sex couples.
Check out the link to see the amazing list of groups and individuals who signed on to the briefs to show that a diverse cross-section of Washington state is eager to see equal rights extended to gays and lesbians. It’s really exciting.

The Bad: Virginia
The Virginia House approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage yesterday, despite a warning from the state's first openly gay legislator, Democrat Adam Ebbin, that the measure will one day prove as shameful as slavery and segregation.

The House voted 78-18 in favor of a resolution similar to one easily approved in the Senate on Monday.
Ugh. Not so amazing. In fact:
What is even more distressing is that an alternative proposal, which would have removed elements prohibiting civil unions or contracts between two people of the same sex that approximate those of marriage was rejected. They want to leave that can of worms open and squirming.
Which means, of course, that a gay couple could adopt a child together in Illinois, for example, where both can legally adopt the child (one through the agency, the other through the courts), but if they moved to Virginia, that’s the end of equal parenthood rights. (Maybe not on the child adopted in Illinois—although I’m not sure if Virginia would have to recognize that agreement—but if they wanted to bring more children into their family, they couldn’t make the same arrangements.)

And as you may recall, crafty attorneys in Ohio are already attempting to use such a similarly rigid piece of legislation to defend domestic abusers from heterosexual couples who aren’t married.

The Ugly: Alabama
The first bill passed in both the Alabama Senate and the House in the new legislative session is a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages in the Bible Belt state.


Alabama has had a law since 1998 that bans gay marriages, but legislators — both Democrats and Republicans — said a constitutional prohibition would be stronger.

"It will be a safeguard for future generations," said Sen. Roger Bedford, D-Russellville.

Sen. Hank Erwin, R-Montevallo, read aloud from the Bible about marriage and told his colleagues, "We have always been a traditional family state that says we support one man and one woman in a marriage."
The bill passed unanimously, 35-0. Seriously—what the fuck is wrong with Alabama?

(Hat tips to Pam and “regular Blender/sometime Shaker” JJ.)

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