Delaware and Hawaii bring same-sex unions to 2012

Photo of Homer Simpson marrying two men
Photo: Homer ministers a same-sex marriage.

I heard on the Facevine that Delaware and Hawaii allowed the first same-sex couples in their respective states to get married today, January 1st, 2012.

What an awesome way to ring in the new year!

With Hawaii and Delaware joining the list Sunday, five states now recognize same-sex civil unions, while six other states and Washington, D.C., allow same-sex marriage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Illinois, New Jersey, and Rhode Island already recognize civil unions providing state-level spousal rights to same-sex couples, the NCSL says.

Marriage licenses are given to same-sex couples in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York and the District of Columbia, the NCSL says.

We are winning the fight for civil rights in this country. Once you give people rights, you have to fight much harder to take those rights away.  They tried in California with Prop 8 and failed (though the state has not yet re-established the right for same-sex couples to marry), and will continue to fail. Nevertheless, the people fighting against same-sex marriage have a lot of clout.

Here are the types of people we’re up against:

A group called the Hawaii Family Forum argued that “a vote for civil unions is a vote for same-sex marriage.”

“Civil unions are a desperate and dishonest attempt to force same-sex ‘marriage’ on Hawaii,” the group said. Despite the opposition, there was no referendum.

These Family organizations have got it backward.

Civil unions are not desperate. The majority of people support civil unions. I don’t see how doing what the majority supports is an act of desperation.

Civil unions are not dishonest. I don’t even understand the use of that word to describe them. The Hawaii Family Forum’s use of the word “force” is dishonest. So too, their use of quotes around the word marriage. I can do that too if I want to be disingenuous. See, Hawaii “Family” Forum?

Civil unions are not an attempt. They are a success.

Civil unions are not forcing. No one is forcing same-sex marriage on anyone. Right now the force lies with the government restriction of marriage as between opposite-sex couples. The government limits who can marry based on mostly religious grounds, and attempts to allow same-sex marriage/civil unions remove those limitations. If anything, the current laws restricting marriage are a violation of the First Amendment, because the current laws have the government promoting one particular religious view of marriage over all else, to the exclusion of other religious (or non-religious) views of marriage.

I care about civil rights, but I also care about religious freedom – I care about the churches who cannot marry same-sex couples due to government restriction. I care about the christian same-sex couples who have their religious liberties infringed upon by government restriction of marriage. If these Family organizations really cared about religious freedom, they would advocate that the government stop limiting marriage.

So, thanks Delaware and Hawaii, for your awesomeness!


Reach Christina at Zizturiswrong {at} gmail [dotcom] or on Twitter @Ziztur

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