There are not a lot of issues on which I disagree with Dan Savage, but this is one of ’em.
“You are right that there is an issue here,” Sandeep Kaushik, spokesperson for the I-1077 (and Stranger alum), writes in an email. “We are working on it now to find a way to make sure, if I-1077 passes, that domestic partners are treated fairly under the law.”
Trust us, says Kaushik, we’ll fix this discriminatory law if it passes, somehow or other. Better to fix it now, before it passes, by refiling.
Yeah, well, I agree that the measure’s reference to “married couples” rather than “domestic partners” potentially ends up being inadvertently discriminatory, and would need to be fixed on passage, but Dan’s insistence that the initiative be refiled is simply impractical.
You can pretty much bet that the Republican Secretary of State and the Republican Attorney General would consume the full time alloted to perform their statutory duties on an income tax measure they surely oppose, and that other opponents of the measure would challenge the ballot title to drag the process out even further. It could be more than a month before petitions for a refiled initiative were back out on the streets, leaving little more than a few weeks to collect 300,000 signatures.
Refile the initiative and you could kill our best chance at progressive tax reform in nearly eighty years.
Besides, it’s not the language of I-1077 that is discriminatory, but rather, the language of our state and federal so-called Defense of Marriage Acts. Fix those, and we have no problem.
So my suggestion to Dan is not to stop pressuring on this issue, but to use his soapbox realistically. Use I-1077 as an opportunity to push for the repeal of our state DOMA, and the passage of legal recognition of same-sex marriage. Or less ambitiously… perhaps Dan could just trust the LGBT community’s allies in the broader progressive community to do the right thing should I-1077 pass, in the same way that we’ve fought hard to do the right thing on LGBT issues over the past half decade.
Yes, Sandeep is asking you to trust us. Well, have we ever given you any indication that you can’t?
You have our backs, and we’ll have yours. But to jeopardize passage of such an important piece of progressive legislation over this one fixable, if symbolic flaw, is to jeopardize the unity of the progressive community as a whole.