Posted on February 8, 2012 Posted by John Scalzi 69 Comments
The latest state to legalize same-sex marriage! That is, as soon as the governor signs the bill, which she’s said she plans to do.
Meanwhile, back at the Scalzi Compound:
Me: Washington just passed same-sex marriage! How is our marriage?
Krissy: Last time I checked, still pretty solid.
So, that’s, what? Seven times my marriage has been threatened by same-sex marriage? And yet it’s still managed to survive each time. Somehow. And that’s not even counting Washington, DC!
Since the governor sponsored the bill…it’s a good bet she’ll sign it. :)
Hey, I’m in Washington, DC, and I’m still married after 31 years. (Third time for both of us, though.)
Yay Washington state!
One (of many) cool things about this is that it means my cousin was going to get ‘married’ via a commitment ceremony but now can just flat-out get married which is awesome.
Let’s check…yep, still married, despite living in Washington state. My representatives even voted for the bill, though my state senator had to wait and see which way the wind was blowing first. I don’t see anybody on the front lawn threatening my marriage, but I’ll keep an eye out.
Good for the Evergreen State!
I’ve also noticed a complete lack of decline in the quality of my own (opposite-sex) marriage each time a state legalizes same-sex marriage.
With hard word and determination, we can make it happen across the country.
Sherri, I live in Magnolia. Let me know if you need me and my future wife to drop over and damage the sanctity of your marriage by taking you and the husband for a drink.
I am very excited because I have the Washington “everything but marriage’ domestic partnership which will auto convert to marriage if we dont have time in the next two years to drop by the courthouse. such efficiency is usually lacking in govt decrees.
Now, off to home so I can check a few more things off the gay agenda for today: 2 loads of laundry and an episode of The Daily Show.
Damn it, my wife just called me up and said we needed to talk. While I admit that there’s a distinct possibility that she just wants to know what we’re having for dinner tonight, I think it’s more likely she feels how fragile our marriage has now become and is reconsidering her decision to marry me. Thanks Washington state! Thanks for destroying my marriage!!!
Yay, my adopted home state!
Conversation in the hallway with an (out) co-worker:
Co-worker: It feels so good to finally be human!
Me: Yeah, now you can start paying taxes like the rest of us.
Sadly I live in Missouri where our citizens stupidly decided to pass a state amendment barring same-sex marriage. As a side note, our divorce rate is higher than the national average.
Auntie Laura – you’re not the Shelly and Laura on the invite floating around The Intarwebs are you?
My guess is conservatives will finally admit global warming exists when they figure out a way to blame it on gay marriage.
Wife: Honey, the toilet is backing up.
Husband: Damn GAY MARRIAGE!
Wife: I think we just threw a circuit breaker.
Husband: Damn gay marriage!
Unfortunately, since the inevitable referendum will likely manage to get the necessary 120k-odd signatures, the law will almost certainly end up blocked until December, when it can become effective after public approval in November. Though I’d love to see a state-wide effort to swarm signature-gathers in order to shame potential signers.
I look forward to the upcoming cash infusion to the state by a certain Southwest-oriented church with a strong Idaho presence.
Greg: As a consservative, I do not believe in global warming, but I digress …. I do not understand the flap of gay marriage. Marriage is hard nough without worrying abou other people. I fully support gay marriage and cheer the slow steady progress of inividual freedoms and rights.
Sorry for all the typos above. The ipad’s keyboard is horrible, as is my proof reading.
This is nice. I get so many chances to be proud of my state. Once when it passed in the Senate, once for the House, again when the Governor signs it. Then I get to be ashamed for a few months after the petitions come in to make it go to a vote, and finally, I get to be proud for good when it passes a vote by the people.
Yes, John, but you’re married in Ohio, and according to DOMA, Washington’s (or Iowa’s, etc) approval of gay marriage doesn’t effect yours. You and Krissy are still safe. Whew!
I live in New Jersey, so I think our governor wants a referendum to decide whether my marriage is in danger. Or something; I kind of lost the thread somewhere.
It’s generally expected (by my friends in WA) that opponents will successfully circulate a referendum petition, which will then suspend the implementation of the law until after an intervening election, at which the voters can affirm or overturn it.
My reading of yesterday’s decision in _Perry v. Brown_ suggests that it would *not* invalidate defeat of the measure via this sort of referendum.
So: as wonderful as legislative action is, the fight isn’t over.
Greg @ 8:49 pm: This music video does a good job of explaining.
My mum has the most amusing reason to object to the legalisation of gay marriage: she’s been asked to be a celebrant for a lesbian couple. If gay marriage is made legal she won’t be allowed to do it.
aphrael: at which point it’ll follow the trajectory of Prop 8.
Kevin : aye, and that would be a much better test case for the general protection argument.
That said, most of my WA friends are also convinced that the referendum will affirm the law.
Here’s a Canadian initiative: http://www.facebook.com/TheHSSE
Feel free to post an appropriately captioned photograph of you and your wife. I’m sure it would be welcomed.
The only down side I can see is that Dan Savage – bless every frothy Santorum-flecked hair on his head – is going to be absolutely unbearable. :)
Now I have to get back to threatening Orson Scott Card’s marriage with a glitter-encrusted sodomy club, or something.
@Craig: he already is. No worries there.
I, uh, wish to know more about this club. Purely out of intellectual curiosity, you understand.
Like, is it a private club, or can anyone join?
I live north of Seattle. This is a good day in the Northwest.
Leaving all of the other considerations aside, I’m just glad that this will allow a same sex partner to be with their loved one when they are in the hospital. “You’re not really family” will no longer be able to be used by the cold hearted.
Oh, by the way, I’ve been married 31years. Funny that I don’t feel threatened in any way by this either.
Craig I would like to subscribe to you newsletter
Having asked, she says it’s in more danger from the mess I’ve left in the kitchen.
My partner and I are hoping to get married in California, but Washington is good, too. Wish we could get married here in Colorado, but that will have to wait until marriage equality gains national status. Focus on the Family still makes its home here and our friend Santorum just won big.
it’s not your marriage that requires defense, it’s the sanctity. your marriage is now 2.3% less sanct than it was yesterday.
You’re quite right. Look how those evil gayz destroyed Newt Gingrich’s first two marriages, then framed his wandering penis and pathological doucheness! It’s a really cool superpower to have (“threatens the institution of marriage with a single swish!”) but I’d like to trade it in for one that has some revenue-raising potential.
I’m proud of my state for this but now I’m left hoping that we can beat down the inevitable referendum.
@Merus at 9:48
I read your post a couple of times. Your mum’s a priest or a judge, I take it? (Or possibly a sea captain.)
Yay Washington! Yay California! And a special sort of yay to Santorum’s speech, which somehow makes “them” the victims for denying others their basic human/civil rights.
Huzzah to Washington state too!!!! The forces of love march ever onward.
@PolkaDot: I think the point is that she’s none of those things, and if same-sex marriage becomes legal, the couple will want it to be a legal wedding, so they’ll need a legal celebrant.
At least, that’s how I interpreted it.
My wife and I were in an similar situation, without the added wrinkle of having an unrecognized sort of marriage. We wanted someone to officiate who couldn’t legally do it in the state where we were having the wedding (the venue was in NH; Massachusetts allows anyone to be a one-time celebrant if you arrange it beforehand with the governor’s office, but NH doesn’t). So it wasn’t actually a legal wedding; we had another, very small ceremony with a justice of the peace (in Massachusetts) a few days later. Nobody seemed to care much, if they even knew.
For a moment I read it as “the last state to legalize same sex marriage” and it got me to wonder which one would be the last state to do that… And when…
The US still has quite a way to go, but it seems to be moving more and more in the right direction.
@Matt McIrvine: yeah, that’s right. She owns a small business.
Theyis: it got me to wonder which one would be the last state to do that… And when…
Mississippi ratified the thirteenth ammendment, the one that outlawed slavery, in 1995. It was passed in 1865, when lincoln was president. So, about 130 years.
Which is rather depressing.
Wikipedia notes that 14 states still haven’t ratified the 13th amendment:
David @ 8:40
I could be wrong about this, I don’t remember exactly, but I’m pretty sure the 14 states that weren’t states at the time the Amendment passed Congress aren’t eligible to ratify it. That it took Kentucky and Mississippi over a hundred years to do so is a whole other kettle of shit. The most surprising one to me though was Delaware not ratifying it until 1901. What were they waiting for?
>> Wikipedia notes that 14 states still haven’t ratified the 13th amendment:
By shear coincidence there are exactly 14 states which entered the union after the 13th amendment was ratified.
I expect there won’t be an amendment legalizing gay marriage however. It will be legalized nation wide (or not) because the supreme court will try a case like the Prop 8 repeal and say (or not) “Yeah, you can’t just treat people unequally because your religion thinks their lifestyle is icky.” So it won’t be a matter of each state deciding individually (therefore there won’t be a last state to allow it).
Perhaps more to the point, from Wikipedia: “… it took South Carolina until 1998 and Alabama until 2000 to officially amend their states’ constitutions to remove language prohibiting miscegenation. In the respective referendums, 62% of voters in South Carolina and 59% of voters in Alabama voted to remove these laws.”
Granted, after Loving v. Virginia in 1967, those votes were purely symbolic. But, they were definitely, you know, *symbolic*.
Lately the Supreme Court has been interpreting laws really narrowly in an effort to build consensus among the ideologically disparate justices. In other words, I don’t think the USC will issue a blanket legalization of gay marriage in the next couple decades.
So if same-sex marriage is authorized by the legislature and governor, does that mean that the only right way to do it would have been a general vote of the people?
As for ratifying amentments, most of the states have not ratified the bill of rights. Once the amendments are part of the constitution, what is the point of ratifying them?
A warning to Washington: Beware of a very rich arrogant church coming in to overwhelm the local people with masses of ads based on lies and distortions. Watch out for them, and make their actions public as soon as they are discovered. They are not just a church justly expressing their own opinion. They are the enemy. And they really hate bad publicity.
You may be right. (That’s why I left in the “or not”s). To be more succinct, if gay-marriage becomes legal in the entire country it won’t be because of an amendment to the constitution (such an amendment would likely be viewed as redundant and stepping on state’s rights) or because all 50 states legalized it individually (not going to happen). It will be because the USSC hands down a decision that makes it impossible for the states to not allow it. The USSC may or may not hand down such a decision (we may find out if they try the Prop 8 case). But nothing short of that is going to convince the holdouts down here in Texas, or Utah, or Mississippi, etc etc. Assuming I’m right about that, several states will be tied for “last to legalize gay marriage”.
Yay! My partner and I get a free upgrade! Actually, we’re planning to get ‘properly’ married before the upgrade deadline, so her mother and our friends can actually attend our wedding.
Washington also allows domestic partnerships for any couple when one member is over the age of 62. These partnerships will not be ‘converted’ to marriages, but will remain on the books as domestic partnerships. For all others, we have until June 30, 2014 to legally marry, legally divorce, or have the union annulled: on that date, all existing domestic partnerships in which both partners are under the age of 62 will be magically transformed into marriages, with or without rainbow lights and heavenly music. I predict a mini-boom in the marriage industry. Book your venuesx now!
Also: marriages in Washington can be performed by the following:
“Justices of the supreme court, judges of the court of appeals, judges of the superior courts, superior court commissioners, judges of courts of limited jurisdiction, and any regularly licensed or ordained minister or any priest of any church or religious denomination.”
This includes ULC-licensed ministers — the credentials you can order by mail or online.
So. @Merus, your mother can easily qualify to perform the wedding legally, and any other weddings as well:
Same here, still married after 7 states and 20 years.
But then again, Mr. Scalzi, maybe you and I just happen to have really strong marriages, able to withstand those sort of assaults. I look at some of those anti-gay-marriage politicians, and they’re already on their second or third marriage. Maybe they’ve got legitimate reason to fear. [/sarcasm]
Yay for my home state!
Of course, the enemies of same-sex marriage are mobilizing, and there was an article in the paper this morning saying that we might end up with two initiatives/referendums on the ballot in November, each with different wording (there was some argument over “male and female” vs. “a man and a woman”), which could confuse voters and lead to inconclusive results if one is approved and the other isn’t.
My hope is that if two measures end up on the ballot, voters will render the issue moot by approving same-sex marriage in both of them. We approved domestic partnerships by popular vote a couple of years ago, and that leads me to believe the support is there.
Whew! Dodged another bullet, Scalzi family. Well done. I can’t imagine how many more marriages will survive what with gay people being allowed to marry in 7 states now. Wonder how soon they’ll be on to trying to disallow same-sex divorces because it will threaten other divorces….
@Alpha Lyra: Oh, wow, this raises the possibility of all kinds of evil gamesmanship. People will expect to vote on a referendum to approve gay marriage, and encounter a separate one with the opposite polarity.
“Resolved, that marriage won’t not be not undefined to not be unbetween one man and one woman.”
(Won’t the results be undefined if *both* referenda are approved? Since one cancels out the other?)
if we want to be serious about our data collection and the effects of gay marriage, I feel the need to add that I spilt my coffee all over my desk today. I’m sure its related.
This of course now puts pressure on my state of Oregon (from both sides!) to legalize gay marriage in full, not the half-assed “domestic partnership” crap. I suspect now that the 9th circuit has ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional, it will eventually force other states with anti-gay marriage amendments to nullify them. Can’t happen soon enough though.
I’m married, and in Washington state, and my wife murdered me in my sleep last night because of this.
Braaaaaaiins. GAAAAAY braaaaaiins.
@ rickg: “One (of many) cool things about this is that it means my cousin was going to get ‘married’ via a commitment ceremony but now can just flat-out get married which is awesome.”
Not to be too pedantic, but I attended same-sex weddings even before the law changed here in Massachusetts, and as far as they were concerned, they were *married*, no quotes needed. The fact that their marriage wasn’t legally recognized for several years (and still isn’t recognized at the federal level) was and is certainly important, but they most definitely were married.
(At the risk of complicating things, I’ll also point out that my spouse and I had a commitment ceremony many years before getting married, even though it would have been legally recognized if we’d wanted to get married at the earlier point.)
(mjfgates zombies out on us…)
Sigh. Yet another anti-gay-marriage measure gone horrifically astray…
And before anyone else gets to it, I haz first dibs story rights to the “Gayness cure gone bad creates zombies” plot concept. me me me.
This ruling was very narrow, and even if the Supreme Court were to take the case and uphold the reasoning nationally, it would, if I’m understanding correctly, only apply to situations where same-sex marriage was actually happening because of a court ruling that it was a basic right (not by statute, and not stayed pending a repeal effort) and was then stopped by a state constitutional amendment. That has a significant chance of happening in Iowa, but I doubt it’ll be a common occurrence elsewhere.
The best measure of progress will probably be just the slow advance of the state-by-state tally. When gay marriage is legal in most of the country, then the federal Supreme Court will be much more likely to strike down the remaining bans. That could be a long way off; I suspect it will be much harder to expand same-sex marriage into the South and the more conservative parts of the West and Midwest.
In the meantime, I think DoMA’s ban on federal recognition of same-sex marriages in states where it’s legal is probably going to fall, one way or another, pretty soon. (The provision allowing states to refuse to recognize them will be more durable.)
“Krissy: Last time I checked, still pretty solid.”
Pretty solid? Sweet! One more state follows Washington and you’re well on your way to being “rock solid”. Think of the possibilities then!
um…. George: “And before anyone else gets to it, I haz first dibs story rights to the “Gayness cure gone bad creates zombies” plot concept. me me me.”
sorry you are too late – that was kinda a plot point in ‘Serenity’ (the Firefly movie) where trying to modify behavior via drugs to get people to ‘conform’ (IIRC it was a anti-aggression thing but same jist) created the “reavers”
I always wondered about that “it’ll destroy MY marriage” argument in light of the fact that other countries have already had SSM, some for decades.
So, how’s the destroying work? Is it a critical mass thing, or a proximity thing, or does only The YEW! ESS! AYY! count, or what? Because, if same sex marriage destroys the institution of marriage, that barn burned down a long time ago.
My marriage is doing fine.
However, my car’s CHECK ENGINE light came on this morning. Coincidence? I think not.
You’re fooling yourself, you know. Here’s how it goes down….
MORTICIAN: Bring out your dead!
CONSERVATIVE: Here’s one — nine pence.
SCALZI MARRIAGE: I’m not dead!
CONSERVATIVE: Nothing — here’s your nine pence.
SCALZI MARRIAGE: I’m not dead!
MORTICIAN: Here — he says he’s not dead!
CONSERVATIVE: Yes, he is.
SCALZI MARRIAGE: I’m not!
MORTICIAN: He isn’t.
CONSERVATIVE: Well, he will be soon, he’s very ill.
SCALZI MARRIAGE: I’m getting better!
CONSERVATIVE: No, you’re not — you’ll be stone dead in a moment.
MORTICIAN: Oh, I can’t take him like that — it’s against regulations.
SCALZI MARRIAGE: I don’t want to go in the cart!
CONSERVATIVE: Oh, don’t be such a baby.
MORTICIAN: I can’t take him…
SCALZI MARRIAGE: I feel fine!
CONSERVATIVE: Oh, do us a favor…
MORTICIAN: I can’t.
CONSERVATIVE: Well, can you hang around a couple of minutes? He won’t
MORTICIAN: Naaah, I got to go on to Robinson’s — they’ve lost nine
CONSERVATIVE: Well, when is your next round?
SCALZI MARRIAGE: I think I’ll go for a walk.
CONSERVATIVE: You’re not fooling anyone y’know. Look, isn’t there
something you can do?
SCALZI MARRIAGE: I feel happy… I feel happy.
CONSERVATIVE: Ah, thanks very much.
MORTICIAN: Not at all. See you on Thursday.
I’m watching the bill signing ceremony w/ Gov. Gregoire right now, and getting a little verklempt.
Well so far so good for my marriage – I’ll keep ya posted.