Same-sex couples nationwide took a stand this Valentine’s Day in the name of marriage equality. Couples planned to request marriage licenses from their local governments on Monday, fully anticipating their rejection but not passing up a chance to bring further attention to a national issue.
“Marriage is a civil right, not a heterosexual privilege,” said Tiffani Bishop, an LGBT advocate in Austin, Texas.
Meanwhile, Hawaii on Wednesday became only the seventh state to grant equal rights to same-sex couples. Following a 69% approval rating from Hawaii’s voters, strong support from Governor Neil Abercrombie, and a 1993 state Supreme Court ruling that nearly legalized gay marriage ten years before Massachusetts did, Hawaii’s Senate voted to pass a civil unions bill into law by an 18-5 vote. Abercrombie called it the end of an “emtional process”, and said Wednesday’s vote “represents equal rights for all the people of Hawaii”.
Finally, Representative Steve King of Iowa, whose state Republicans are in the midst of an attempt to roll back marriage equality, has proudly proclaimed his opposition against the “screaming, profane gays.” King, who came up on the short end of the stick in Iowa’s landmark 2009 Supreme Court ruling which legalized gay marriage, said that his state would become a “gay marriage Mecca” as a result of the decision, and says children raised by same-sex couples would be similar to those “raised in warehouses”.
Keep it classy, Steve.
Same-sex couples plan Valentine’s Day push for marriage equality
Hawaii Passes Same-Sex Civil Union Law
Steve King Describes Fighting Marriage Equality In Face Of ‘Screaming, Profane Gays’
You may have been under a rock for the past three days if you haven’t heard about Zach Wahls’ stunning speech in front of Iowa’s House of Representatives in defense of gay marriage. It has been seen more than one million times since it was first posted on Youtube on February 1.
No, I haven’t been under a rock. But I’ve deferred my own thoughts until Lawrence O’Donnell had the opportunity to speak with Zach Wahls and his family on last night’s episode of The Last Word.
What an eloquent, powerful message. In just 3 minutes, Wahls has captivated the nation with his integrity and confidence. Speaking in front of his state’s elected representatives, Wahls adapts to his audience with the utmost professionalism. He’s well-spoken, polite, gracious, but most of all, a fierce advocate for marriage equality. Yet he doesn’t get to this point arguing politics and beliefs. He is making an everyman argument. He has become what his opponents don’t want to be stuck with. Showing the real consequences this measure would have on real people, real families. It is a captivating emotional appeal, casting himself as a defender of family values.
We’ve seen the patterns already. Gay marriage is becoming a conservative idea.
The direction of this conversation is changing and changing quickly. The political spitfire is subsiding and decent, real people are coming forward in defense of equal rights. They are striking a profoundly American sentiment: the family. Families stick together. Families are there for one another when the times get hard. Families work. Families love.
They are speaking to heartland America, and I think they’re about to start listening. America is listening.
Zach Wahls is well on his way to becoming Iowa’s youngest state representative.