When it Rains, it Pours

by Paul Hogarth on February 24, 2011

Yesterday was an eventful day for the rights of same-sex couples. The Maryland State Senate voted 25-22 to advance a marriage equality bill, which the House of Delegates (i.e., State Assembly) expects to pass and Governor Martin O’Malley will sign. This sets the stage for Maryland as the next gay marriage referendum fight after Maine and California, which may happen as early as November. On the other side of the country, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie signed a civil unions bill into law – in the first state to pass an anti-gay marriage amendment, way back in 1998. But both were overshadowed by news that the Obama Administration has opted not to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, a turnabout that exposes the lie that he had “no choice” but to defend it. Obama’s DOMA defense in June 2009 was the first time I felt personally betrayed by this President, a distant memory only made worse by Obama’s later capitulation on the public option and Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. The White House’s DOMA reversal proves that only when progressives get confrontational with the President do they finally get respect.

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