Saturday, June 25, 2011

New York's same-sex marriage law: progress in the midst of regression

We may have a Democratic President ready to cut "entitlements" and to practice Herbert Hoover economics in the face of the current replay of the Great Depression. But progressive ideas and attitudes are making headway in some areas simultaneously:

Geraldine Baum, New York Legislature passes gay marriage bill Los Angeles Times 06/25/2011

Esmé E. Deprez, New York Becomes Sixth State to Pass Gay-Marriage Law Business Week 06/25/2011

Despite the title The Nation gives her article, Not Exactly a Profile in Courage: New York Finally Passes Gay Marriage 06/24/2011, Nancy Goldstein emphasizes the importance of New York's action:

Make no mistake: this is a Big Deal. With the exception of Iowa, New York is the first state outside of the New England region to marry queers; it’s also the most populous. What a relief to end this embarrassing episode in history, when the Sodom and Gomorrah of the world lagged behind Catholic strongholds like Portugal, Mexico City, Spain, Argentina and Brazil in supporting marriage equality.
Heather, Gov. Cuomo Praises New York as Beacon for Social Justice After Passage of Gay Marriage Bill C&L 06/25/2011

To be more specific, years of activism by LGBT advocates are moving more and more states toward more rational and decent treatment of sexual orientation: Michael Barbaro, Behind N.Y. Gay Marriage, an Unlikely Mix of Forces New York Times 06/25/2011.

Cuomo seems to be using this issue to position himself for a Blue Dog Presidential run. Unlike the DLC approach of the early 1990s to be liberal on economic issues, in favor of high military budgets, and restrained on "culture war" issues, Cuomo seems to be positioning himself as liberal on "social issues" and notably deferential to Wall Street and big business. On Cuomo's New York Blue Dog act, see (Not) Talking Taxes in New York by Monica Potts The American Prospect 06/13/2011, espeically his anti-union posturing.

Obviously, not everyone is happy with New York's decision:

Anugrah Kumar, Gay Activists to Emulate NY Win in Other States Christian Post 06/25/2011:

"Despite today's vote, the people of New York recognize that marriage provides a strong foundation for a thriving society," the Rev. Jason McGuire, executive director of evangelical Christian group New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, said in a statement Friday.

State senators who had chosen to "pursue their own agenda or the agenda of liberal activist groups" are overlooking the fact that 62 percent of Americans still believe that marriage is "one man, one woman, nothing else," he said.
Marriage "provides a strong foundation for a thriving society," but having more of it is bad?


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