Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Keeping Wisconsin Safe for Married People -- Somehow

There is much celebration today on some of my favorite blogs. I admit that it's some relief to see things finally swinging the other way. I don't have any illusion that the country is suddenly going to go sane, but perhaps a Democratically controlled house can put a check on some of the most egregious abuses of executive power.

My own celebration is tempered by the fact that Wisconsin, my home state, has enacted a "Marriage Amendment." The amendment provides that "a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state." Note that this half of the amendment doesn't mention the sexes of the people involved. It's unconstitutional to treat unmarried people as married, no matter what their sexuality. Within six months, we'll be seeing employers dropping benefits for domestic partners, gay and straight. After all, it's the law.

The net gain for married couples in Wisconsin? Zero. Our taxes are not lower. Our jobs are not more secure. Our streets are not safer. And our marriages are for damn sure not any more stable than they ever were, even though that's the language used to sell this bastardized ammendment. "Protecting the institution of marriage." How, exactly?

I know, I'm bitter. I had hoped that Wisconsin would prove itself more rational than that. As it was, the ban was enacted 59% to 41%. It had been predicted to be a lot closer, meaning that a whole lot of people were telling pollsters they were against it but actually voted for it when they got into the voting booth. The vote on the marriage ban in South Dakota was closer than in Wisconsin, for Pete's sake!

Other than that, it's been a good election. That's something I haven't been able to say in a long time.

2 comments:

COUSIN JOGGERAKA FOODJUNKIE said...

TENNESSEE ALSO PASSED A SIMILAR AMENDMENT. BUT WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM A STATE THAT WOULD ELECT BOB CORKER TO THE SENATE. THE MARGIN HERE WAS OF COURSE MUCH WIDER. I AM GLADDENED BY THE FACT THAT THE CORKER FORD RACE WAS MUCH CLOSER THAN ANYONE COULD HAVE GUESSED. 49%
51%. TRUTHFULLY I WAS NOT IN LOVE WITH EITHER CANDIDATE. BOTH HAVE ETHICS ISSUES. BUT I WANTED FORD SIMPLY BECAUSE I WANTED A DEMOCRAT CONTROLLED CONGRESS. WELL I GOT WHAT I WANTED ANYWAY.

Addy N. said...

Jogger: I agree that is too bad that people are so paranoid and homophobic that they feel it necessary to try to limit what others do. If it's any consolation, Arizona DID NOT pass their similar amendment and I would not consider them a liberal state my any means! I see the gay marriage issue in a similar way to how many states used to prohibit people from different races from marrying each other. (in which case, I would not be allowed to married my husband!) Eventually, the tide will turn and people will realize that two men or two women being legally married to each other does not have any detrimental effects on heterosexual marriage or families. I think the 'threat to marriage' argument is the lamest thing I've ever heard- isn't DIVORCE the biggest threat to marriage??