Remarkably “unremarkable”

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out Brian’s post on the new domestic partnership legislation wending its way through Olympia.  (It’s the kinda thorough, original reporting I’m told you’re not supposed to be able to find on the blogs… and that you’re seeing less and less of in the dailies.)

The bill would add over 300 rights and obligations to domestic partnerships, essentially marriage equality in everything by name, at least under Washington state law.  (Federal law would still have to change to allow for true marriage equality, whatever we call it.)  But as Brian points out, the big story here is how noncontroversial this issue has become:

Those blatant displays of humanity aside, [Sen. Ed] Murray commented that one of the aspects most worthy of celebration with the announcement of these bills was the relative lack of fanfare from the other side.

“I would say the most remarkable thing about this bill is that it is unremarkable,” Murray mentioned, explaining that many of the fiercely fought battles that had been fought in the last few decades were inconspicuously absent from today’s atmosphere, even resulting in the aforementioned Republican sponsors of the House bill.

It took decades of bitter political fighting simply to make it illegal to discriminate based on sexual preference (yup, up until a couple years ago, it was perfectly legal to deny somebody a job, a loan, housing or insurance, simply because you thought they might be a little faggy), and now it looks like almost marriage equality is going to sail through the legislature with nary a fight.

Part of this has to do with the Democrats’ near super-majority in both houses, but a lot of it has to do with growing public acceptance of same sex couples.  Hmm.  I guess the rabid opponents of the anti-discrimination laws were right—it is a slippery slope after all.

A slippery slope toward greater freedom and equality, that is.


  1. 2

    Blue John spews:

    As a gay man in a long term committed relationship, I’d like marriage, but having having as much of the same thing as WA can provide, without giving the right wing wack jobs the boogie man of “Gay Marriage”, it’s a good compromise.
    In spirit of our new administration, it’s being pragmatic.

  2. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @1 No. Gay marriage would be simpler, cleaner, and fairer, but as always, Democrats have to work around GOP obstructionism. If the religious right got their way, they’d be building Aztec temples and making human sacrifices in our cities and towns.

  3. 6

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    The public gets to vote on their representatives – who in turn vote on behalf of their constituents – if the public doesn’t like the decisions they make – they get to replace them in a few years – that’s how it works. And over and over and over and over and over the people of this state have correctly and properly decided to let Democrats make these decisions – as they should.

    The right has no power here and deserves none. This will become law and the closeted gays on the right like Senator Criag and Ted Haggert and Puffybutt will be encouraged to come out!

  4. 7

    Broadway Joe spews:

    But you know what this means. ‘Ol Fred Phelps and his crew will be hitting Olympia shortly after the bill passes. Perhaps I should call my old rugby buddies and suggest they stage a counter-protest. Knowing them like I do, it’ll be a hundred drunken ruggers from all over the Sound doing something obnoxious and silly, say like mooning the Phelps Phreaks….

    And those would just be the girls.

  5. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Authorities Hunt For Assassin Wannabe

    The FBI is looking for Timothy Ryan Gutierrez, 20, of Cortez, Colorado, after he was indicted this week by a federal grand jury for threatening to assassinate President Obama. Gutierrez e-mailed the threat to the FBI’s Washington, D.C., headquarters.

    At least 2 other people were indicted or arrested on similar charges this week. In Florida, Nathan Wine, 21, of Tampa, has been indicted for a threat he made on Nov. 5 against the President-Elect. Wine, who also is wanted on a gun theft charge, turned himself in to Tampa police this morning and is being held on $25,000 bond.

    In Mississippi, Steven Joseph Christopher, 42, was arrested by sheriff’s deputies and Secret Service agents for threats he posted on a web site devoted to UFOs and aliens. Christopher’s postings referred to President Obama as a “sacrificial lamb” and explicitly stated he intended to assassinate the President. According to authorities, Christopher, who sometimes posts under the screen name “God,” also posted threats against President Bush in online forums. In addition, Christopher is wanted on a warrant from Wisconsin, where he has been indicted for domestic abuse.

  6. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @7 I’ll help round up some redneck veterans to help greet Reverend Fred and his extended family. Who wants to be responsible for alerting Harborview to prepare for mass casualties?

  7. 11

    Al Goldstein spews:

    At last the venerable Roger Rabbit, who is a self-hating goat in bad drag, and I agree: Phred Phelps is even worse than a goat in bad drag.

    Count me in, O Venerated One. I’ll bring the cross, matches, and Sheets-Byrd sheets.

  8. 12

    Redneck Goldstein spews:

    While looking for TRG, 20, of Cortez, Colorado, is it too late to look for Randi Rhodes, over-the-hill, of East Lenin, Florida, who threatened GWB with the Fredo Option?

  9. 13

    Redneck Goldstein spews:

    The Obama zeit’s geist is … pragmatism? Say WA?!

    Every pustule of smelly left-wing orthodoxy from the sick 60s and sicker 70s is in BO’s stimulus package of pork sausage, every pustule but one: “gay” marriage. And that’s only because gay marriage was too sick even for 60s/70s pathology.

    Pragmatic? Maybe Hussein pragmatically left it out so he’d have something cool to do next week, between walking on water and walking through windows and walls.

  10. 14

    Upton spews:

    I’m in a long term committed relationship with a member of the opposite sex..we don’t plan to get married and likely never will.

    Yet, because we’re heterosexual, one of us has to be 62 (neither one of us are) to take advantage of the domestic partnership law…

    Can someone explain to me why my partner and I are being discriminated against?

  11. 15

    Redneck Goldstein spews:

    Yes: You breeders are expendable, and should be expended, to save the planet. You have no right to have rights in Barack’s brave new pragmatic world.

  12. 16

    Al Goldstein spews:

    Think my little brother whacked this yesterday: Last year, Roger Rabbit the self-hating goat, called me a dolt because I didn’t know my Udalls from a hole in the ground.

    Every schoolboy knew Stu/Stew Udall, of course, and maybe Mo. But beyond Mo? All those Udalls beyond Udalls?

    The problem with keeping them straight, assuming they are, and if you’ll excuse an expression I use, is that they breed like fucking Rabbits. Or Jack Mormon jackrabbits.

    Maybe it would just be easier to set out trays of strychnine, but then Rabbit’s FBI would come looking for me and my ggod friend Gutierrez.

  13. 17

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    I don’t care whether we allow same-sex marriages or not.

    But we should also allow for polygamy, too. People should be allowed to practice their religion as they see fit. I’m not FLDS or, for that matter, LDS, but I’m starting to think that same-sex marriage and polygamy are in the same boat, just sitting at different ends of the vessel.

    {BTW – the penalty for polygamy: more than one wife!!}

  14. 18

    ArtFart spews:

    As it turns out, my sister and her wife (at least in the eyes of the law in Canada), are moving back to Seattle after living in another state for the last few years. I’d feel pretty good to welcome her home with the news that this measure had passed.

  15. 19

    ArtFart spews:

    The fact that this is happening with so little fuss is evidence that the meddlesome likes of Fred Phelps and Ken Hutcherson are getting the treatment they richly deserve: being ignored.

  16. 21

    Playa spews:

    So … Fart wants to let everybody out of the closet so he can shove the Rev into it. Gonna take way more than a fartlet like you to shove Hutch anywhere he doesn’t want to go. Praise God.

  17. 22

    Playa spews:

    And remember the Honorable George W. Bush’s references to “Fartblossom”? Was he perhaps referring to, like, you?

  18. 23

    Playa spews:

    Somewhere (NPR?) recently reported that somebody is already demanding equal protections for his polygamy. Since our living breathing elastic Constitution guarantees elasticity of marriage, it’s only fair that all non-traditional couplings and groupings are liberated from the majoritarian tyranny of tradition.

    Senator Rick from Pennsylvania was right. If anything goes, then everything goes.

    Meanwhile, it’s been another quiet week in the (Dan) Savage Nation, where plycky mayor Sam Adams keeps on doing the business of the Portland people.

  19. 24

    steve spews:

    Senator “Man-on-dog” Rick sure knows that “anything goes, everything goes” shit. You betchya.

  20. 26

    Beat the Rush, Part Deux spews:

    P.J. O’Rourke wrote years ago that Rush is a zero-sum game. Back then the Majority Maker was making no majorities, such as Rove’s permanent Republican majority, and was at best holding everything in a gridlock stasis. (Remember when ’50-50 nation’ was the nation’s compelling crisis? Bush sure solved that problem.)

    And so did Rush. Now he’s a less-than-zero sum game, driving away more people than he’s stringing along. To repeat, when it takes three or four days for the big guy to try to explain or explain away one of his bad jokes, then the joker’s got to go.

  21. 27

    Puddybud, Hey it's the New Year... spews:

    BeatingHimself@26: Hmmm PJ O’Rourke said that? Where’s the URL for that comment in #26? Hard to believe.

    Yep PJ O’Rourke is sometimes very funny too.

    If so then Rush’s radio program will die out, and his sponsors will jump ship.

    Time will tell and, of course, your slime does smell.

  22. 28

    Puddybud, Hey it's the New Year... spews:

    Hey Steve@25, that’s hate speech, or were the May Day demonstrations full of hate speech?

    Let’s be clear now…

  23. 29

    Puddybud, Hey it's the New Year... spews:

    Since Pelletizer jumped out of the thread @ post #8,

    Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner chose Mark Patterson, a Goldman Sachs lobbyist, to be his chief of staff.

    Wow didn’t President Barack Obama create a policy that says no one who has lobbied on a set of issues within the past 2 years be in his administration that deals with the same subject matter? That’s the 3rd exception to his high-profile braggadocio policy in the last few dayz.

  24. 30

    steve spews:

    Hey, Puddy, watch out! That drink in your hand just might contain a shot of Steve’s Stupid Solution. Lord only knows what you might start posting after that.

    If there’s anything I hate more than commies or fascists, it’s a racist commie or fascist. Sigh! OK, when it comes to racism, commies and fascists, I admit to my tendency to shoot first and ask questions later. I’ve known far too many white men who conceal their racism with clever turns of phrase, or as now, concealed behind a song written by a black man. It matters less to me that a black man wrote the Magic Negro song than it does how a white man uses it.

  25. 32

    mark spews:

    If they allow the fudgepackers and carpetmunchers to be married then steve will
    want to marry his goat. It is the demise of

  26. 33

    WeBentOverTheGOP spews:

    Too bad that drug addict Lush Flimbaugh doesn’t have the stones to run for national office like American hero Al Franken did. Rush would be laughed at and REJECTED so he hides out in his radio studio, afraid to go out in public. He is a coward and a traitor who hopes America fails – and ANYONE who supports him is just as bad.

  27. 34

    Emily spews:

    Upton @ 14:

    If you want to be treated under the law exactly like married people are treated, all you have to do is get married. Since same-sex couples can’t get married, we need domestic partnership legislation.

  28. 36

    correctnotright spews:

    Civil marriages should be available to anyone.

    We don’t read the declaration of independence these days as:

    All people are created equal – except homosexuals. The old prejudices need to be thrown out the window.

    If gay people want to be married – I say fine, as long as they have to share the house chores like the rest of us.