What A Wonderful Time For Equality!

On Monday, the President of the United States called for gay equality in his Inaugural speech. President Barack Obama, who months ago had made clear his support for gay marriage, has made the strongest message to the people of America and the world by any President ever in favor of treating all our citizens equally.

And also on Monday, we celebrated nationwide the ideas and ideals of Martin Luther King, Jr., who fifty years earlier had stood in Washington surrounded by hundreds of thousands of others calling for a colorblind society that would appreciate all of our people.

And today, the Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee voted in favor of legislation that will make that state the 10th in the nation, including New Hampshire, that formally extends marriage equality for all its citizens, and in so doing would have that state join all the other New England states in allowing marriage rights for its gay and lesbian citizens.

And nationally, the Defense of Marriage Act is facing repeal in a pending case this coming Spring before the United States Supreme Court.

There is nothing more important on Earth than the way we treat one another. And every day, the people of America are taking steps toward equality — thanks to the leadership and commitment of growing millions of our citizens.

What a wonderful time for equality. But like Robert Frost’s quote, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have miles to go and promises to keep before I sleep,” we have much further to travel. I think, though, that we’re going to get there!

6 Responses to What A Wonderful Time For Equality!

  1. hannah January 22, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    The sentence I like best:

    We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.

    I can never forget some one of the Cons’ ideologues opining that Judgment Day was when we could expect to be equal, as if he were throwing down the gauntlet to the Creator. The Cons’ hubris is really quite breath taking. Perhaps that’s why they get away with it.

    Anyway, the President is no longer standing silent in the face of abuse.

  2. mevansnh January 22, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

    I haven’t heard anything about any attempts by the “cons” to repeal marriage equality here in NH this year? or have they’ve finally come to accept the inevitable?

    • Chris Blodgett January 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

      Hmmmm… you make a good point. Though if memory serves, I’m sure there were LSRs filed pre-election to try and repeal it again. Not sure if dropped or not.

  3. Rep. Jim Splaine January 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    So far, see no repeal efforts. We’re ready if it happens, and it won’t get anywhere here — or anytime in the future. Although we do always have to remember that it takes only one election to take our rights away, so Election Day in November, 2014 is as important as any. That’s just 651 days from now — exactly 93 weeks.

    We passed the bill in 2009 the right way, and that’s what has made it very difficult, even last year, to repeal the law. We did it through thousands of supporters telling our legislators, and our governor, that we wanted equality. I’m just glad we did it that year, because we likely wouldn’t have done it in 2010 with an election coming, and 2011 and 2012 weren’t favorable. Now, at least, we don’t have to do it — we’ve done it, and Rhode Island is about to turn New England into marriage equality. Incredible progress.

    Now if we could only get DOMA out of there, and we might!

  4. Rep. Jim Splaine January 24, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    And now, today — Thursday — the Rhode Island House passed the bill 51 to 19, with some of the same emotional attacks that were spoken against House Bill 436 in our legislature in 2009 being thrown around again. But equality won out. Onto the State Senate.

    We won here by showing our faces and telling our stories. We now have more than 2,220 same-gender marriages since our law became effective January 1, 2010, with more being celebrated every week. Rhode Island will round out all of New England for marriage equality, and then onto the rest of the nation.

    We can do it!

  5. hannah January 26, 2013 at 4:41 am #

    A shout out to Senator Shaheen seems to be in order for re-introducing the anti-discrimination in jury selection act.

    The presumption of prejudice on the part of jurors strikes me as a prejudice that needs to be challenged. The argument that jurors are prejudiced is used to justify all sorts of machinations to coerce please from people who can’t afford to fight false accusations. Also the presumption that “everyone’s guilty of something,” poisons our justice system.

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