Marriage Equality Goes West

It now seems clear that the legislature in Washington state has enough votes in both houses to pass a bill for marriage equality. That would make it the seventh state in the union with such a law, and one that did it the New York way – by a long, bruising, helpful democratic process in the legislature.

Whether you examine the national polls or simply look at the changing landscape, it is clear that marriage for gays and lesbians is here to stay. The momentum and the arguments are on our side. Which is why the GOP's ferocious opposition to any rights for gay couples – and its bid to write such a horrifyingly targeted provision into the federal constitution – is so grotesquely misguided. The British Tories realized in their wilderness that two issues would wake people up to their evolution. The first was inclusion of gays – and a free vote is set in Parliament soon, supported by the prime minister, to bring full marriage rights to British citizens. The second was climate change. At some point, the American right will have to do the same (Newt, of course, already has on the climate, and Romney once pledged to be more pro-gay than Ted Kennedy).

The future is understood by Chris Christie who just nominated an openly gay African-American, married for thirty years, to the state supreme court. Christie still opposes marriage rights for gays, but has left the door open if the legislature moves forward, as it wants to do. But when you are treating a potential member of the state supreme court as a second-class citizen, in the end, the position becomes untenable.