Wednesday, May 19, 2004

While the Rest of the World Moves Forward...

I'm suddenly having flashbacks to Kermit the Frog as the Sesame Street newsreporter, so "Hi Ho Everybody"..

Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero promised to legalize same-sex marriage during an April 15 speech to Parliament.

The mayor of Bègles, France, plans to perform a same-sex marriage in June. Bègles is a suburb of Bordeaux.

There's nothing in French law to prohibit the marriage, Noël Mamère says, and gays should have full equal rights.

The commission reviewing Portugal's Constitution approved adding a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation April 23.

"Portugal is now one of the few countries in the world that include nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the fundamental law of the nation," said João Paulo, editor of the Web site PortugalGay.PT.

Other nations that ban antigay discrimination constitutionally include Canada, Ecuador, South Africa, Switzerland and, possibly, Fiji

(news from Rex Wockner)

The Virginia legislature recently passed House Bill 751, which states:

"A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 20-45.3, relating to the Affirmation of Marriage Act for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. § 20-45.3. Civil unions between persons of same sex.

A civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage is prohibited. Any such civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement entered into by persons of the same sex in another state or jurisdiction shall be void in all respects in Virginia and any contractual rights created thereby shall be void and unenforceable."

You can read the law for yourself here.

What's so shocking about this bill is that it goes so far as to nullify any kind of legal arrangement including medical power of attorney or wills, even health insurance from domestic partner benefits at your workplace. Not merely satisfied to prohibit us from entering into marriage or trying to compromise with a civil union, Virginia leaps back in time (well perhaps Virginia didn't have to do so much leaping in the first place; go visit Gay American's blog on his encounter with Virginia's PR department) to strip any kind of legal benefit we might have.

What the hell is wrong with people? Why am I so frightening because I want to have a few basic protections for my partner and me. Why does my existance as a law-abiding, productive citizen (and hell I'm a Protestant white male even) provoke such hatred, evil, and maliciousness? Other have said it and I've repeated it here, but marriage is the most conservative demand/request in the world. The other major world powers see us as people worthy of dignity, rights, and respect, why do so many of my fellow Americans fail to rise to this level? We're a nation founded on bestowing proper rights, liberties, and responsibilities on people; we've struggled with it for centuries to grant it to all citizens. Why haven't we learned our lesson?

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