"Don't Take No for an Answer" - Tom Robinson Band
- And now Maryland joins the equality bandwagon. This is great news. A bill just squeaked through the Maryland House by a vote of 71 - 67 after some touch and go moments. The African-American churches in Prince Georges County and in and around Baltimore had proven to be a significant obstacle, but in the end there were just enough votes. Passage in the Senate -- which passed a marriage equality bill last year -- is pretty much assured. And Governor Martin O'Malley will happily sign it, having pushed hard for its passage, in the process trying to duplicate Andrew Cuomo's feat of last year. O'Malley pretty clearly has presidential ambitions and sees this as a path to national recognition.
It is a mark of the extraordinary progress that we have seen on this front in the last couple of years that aggressively pursuing marriage equality is seen as a means of generating mass appeal for a presidential campaign within the Democratic Party.
I think that New Jersey will soon join the ranks, Chris Christie's gutless veto notwithstanding. And I think California will get there one way or another. Maine too. I would think that Rhode Island can't be too far behind.
Where the battle goes from there is a little uncertain. I don't really have a sense of where things stand in Oregon, but that is obviously a place that you would think would be promising turf. It would be nice to see some opening in the middle of the country -- beyond Iowa, where marriage equality was the product of litigation rather than legislation. Although I am sympathetic to the idea that equal rights should not be left to the vagaries of electoral politics, I am always pleased when this sort of thing can be accomplished via legislation. I would think Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota would be the logical places to try.
What's your sense of this?
And what else has grabbed your attention? The idea that in 2012, there would be some people who think contraception is controversial. That Mitt Romney seems to be continuing to bleed support? Suddenly there seems to be a lot more fun to be had in politics than seemed possible a year ago.