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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Stay Strong and Demand Full Marriage Equality

We tend to take an optimistic view overall on this blog, because we believe that all adults will be free to enjoy their rights to have their relationships and marriages without being criminalized or treated as second class citizens. However, Matt Baume warns in this commentary at huffingtonpost.com that recent advancements in the US could be rolled back under the combination of the Trump administration and a Republican-controlled Congress.
Step 1 is simply to weaken the protections of marriage. They can’t stop marriage altogether, not at first. But in a variety of states, there are subtler efforts already underway.

For example, the Arkansas Supreme Court just gave the state the green light to withhold certain rights from same-sex married couples. In that case, it was the right to have both parents named on their kid’s birth certificate. The court said that straight couples can automatically be listed as parents, even if one isn’t biologically related to the child. But gay couples can’t.


There isn’t even a pretense here of separate but equal. It’s explicitly separate and unequal.


And take a look at what’s happening in Texas: there’s a group of citizens suing to stop Houston from providing spousal benefits like health insurance to the same-sex spouses of city employees. This group says that even though the state has to issue a marriage license, it doesn’t have to go further and treat the couple as though they’re married. There’s also a bill called SB89 that goes even further ― it says that the Texas constitution, which prohibits same-sex marriage, trumps the US Constitution, so the state shouldn’t issue any licenses to same-sex couples at all.
These things are outrageous. It is the law of the land, nationwide, that nonconsanguineous same-sex couples have the same freedom to marry, and be treated the same, as heterosexual couples. Any attempt to subvert that is an egregious violation of law. We'd  hope that even many of the people who strongly opposed this freedom to marry would accept that it is the law of the land. There's no good reason to deny any adult the right to marry.

This is an example of why it would be good to get a Marriage Equality Amendment into the Constitution.

Solidarity is needed more now than ever. We will not go back. We will keep moving forward.
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