Homo Surging Past Washington State on Gay Rights: California, Massachusetts, Oregon… and Colombia?
posted by June 16 at 10:12 AMon
Washington State’s domestic partnership law goes into effect in July.
When it does I’ll be able to order my boyfriend to get an autopsy, donate his organs, and decide just where and how to dispose of his remains. I have so much to look forward to. Meanwhile gays and lesbians in California, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Colombia—not “District of” (which is, I’ve learned, spelled with a “u”), but “in South America”—will be enjoying much broader rights.
In Massachusetts, of course, the gays are getting legally married—just like the gays in Spain, Holland, South Africa, and other points more progressive. But in a clear sign that Washington State’s well-meaning legislature was guilty of some seriously under-reach on securing rights for same-sex couples in the last legislative session, Colombia’s national legislature has passed—and it’s conservative president has pledged to sign—a law extending some of the major benefits of marriage to same-sex couples in that Latin American nation.
Colombia is set to become the first Latin American country to give established gay couples full rights to health insurance, inheritance and social security under a bill passed by its Congress.
The plan approved Thursday is expected to take effect soon. It is backed by President Alvaro Uribe.
The Washington State domestic partnership law includes the right to inherit property in the absence of a will but it does not mandate health insurance coverage for DPs or social security benefits (which are, unfortunately, in the hands of the feds). Still, if they’re passing laws in Colombia—Colombia!—that go farther than Washington’s DP law, we can and should do better, and demand more, during the next legislative session.
In other gay marriage news…
This Michael Kinsley essay is a must-read.
The debate of 14 years ago about gays in the military seems almost quaint. Kids grow up today with gay friends, gay parents, gay parents of friends and gay friends of parents. If only blacks and whites were as thoroughly mixed together in society as gays and straights are. Kids are also exposed constantly to an entertainment culture in which gays are not merely accepted but in some ways dominant. You rarely see a reality show without a gay cast member, while Rosie O’Donnell is a coveted free agent and Ellen DeGeneres is America’s sweetheart. The notion that gays must be segregated out of the military for the sake of our national security must strike Americans younger than, say, 40 as simply weird, just as we of the previous generation find the rules of racial segregation weird. (O.K., run that by me again: they needed separate drinking fountains because … why?)
Fresh off the success of defending gay marriage from its latest attack, advocates say they have one more fight in Massachusetts: Repealing a 1913 law that bars same-sex couples in most other states from coming here to get married.
Some say the law—which says couples cannot be married here unless their unions would be legal in their home states—has its roots in the effort to block interracial marriage, and plan soon to strategize for its repeal….
Massachusetts is the only U.S. state where gay marriage is legal. A few states recognize civil unions for same-sex couples.
Opponents of gay marriage, including the former governor and now Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, have said repealing the law would make Massachusetts the “Las Vegas of gay marriage.”
And Stephen Colbert thinks gays should come with a warning label, and homosexuality should be treated as a disease. Call it Disco Fever…