We’ve come a long way, baby! Over the past decade, and particularly over the last couple of years, public opinion polls have increasingly found a majority of people in support of marriage equality. But nothing says, “the bigots will lose,” like this:
Dick Cheney is quietly lobbying at least one Maryland state lawmaker to back marriage equality, the Baltimore Sun reported on Thursday. Since leaving the vice president’s office, Cheney has been increasingly vocal in his support for same-sex marriage, but the extent of his engagement on the issue was not previously well known.
In New Jersey, a marriage equality bill passed the New Jersey Assembly yesterday, and was sent to Gov. Chris Christie today. Christie has vowed to veto the bill.
Democrats who identified same-sex marriage as their No. 1 priority for the two-year legislative session that began in January have adopted a more long-term view. [...]
…[T]hey plan to bide their time in hopes that support for gay marriage — 52 percent for gay marriage, 42 against it, in New Jersey, according to one recent voter poll — will continue to grow.
“We do have two years,” said Reed Gusciora, a Trenton Democrat who sponsored the bill in the Assembly and who is one of two openly gay state lawmakers. “We changed a lot of views in the last couple of weeks. Give us two years and we’re going to change a heck of a lot more.”
Here in Washington state, opponents of our new marriage equality bill have launched a campaign to collect 120,577 valid signatures to get Referendum on the ballot. If they succeed, the law will be put “on hold” so that voters can approve or reject it.
The new referendum drive is not unlike the 2009 signature drive that resulted in R-71, asking voters to approve or reject the state’s domestic partner registration law. The signature drive was successful, and voters ended up supported the “all but marriage” law by a healthy 53% to 47% margin.
There is one big difference between the 2009 signature drive and the current effort: we now know that petitions are public documents. That is, if you sign a petition to put a referendum on the ballot, you cannot hide the fact. The Supreme Court says so.
Just yesterday, a searchable database of those who signed R-71 went live at whosigned.org. You can search by names, streets, cities, zip codes, etc. One justification for the page is to assist in spotting fraud. Did someone sign a petition in your name? Go find out.
The other reason for putting the name on-line is so that you can learn about the bigots in your neighborhood. Got acquaintances who are closet homophobes? Check out whosigned.org.
Want to know who to NOT invite to your next Christmas party? Check out whosigned.org.
I looked up who signed from Redmond. I didn’t sign it. Few of the people in my immediate neighborhood signed. I couldn’t find any friends or acquaintances who signed it. Unsurprisingly, Redmond’s famous bigot, Ken Hutcherson, did sign—as did his wife Patricia and daughter Avery.
So…folks who sign petitions to put Washington’s marriage equality law on the ballot should know: we will know you signed. You won’t have to make crude fagot jokes for us to know you are a bigot. Your signature on that petition accomplishes the same thing.
We will put your name and address in an open, searchable web page.
We will encourage your friends, neighbors, and acquaintances to learn that you signed.
We WILL express our disappointment in you and our disapproval of your ignorance and bigotry.
And we will (when we can, legally) discriminate against you.
I’m not talking violence…I’m talking about stigmata: loss of reputation, public humiliation, and withdrawal of personal and social support.
You’ve been warned.