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.