When it comes to marriage equality, the dream will never die

(Note: the following is based on the New York Times’ November 1, 2009 editorial about same-sex “marriage; I simply changed a few phrases and names.)

The editors of the New York Times are deeply concerned about the obstacles still standing in the way of true justice and tolerance in America, as shown in this editorial.

Six Tests for Equality and Fairness
Published: November 1, 2019

Political battles this fall in six different parts of the country could have a profound impact on whether the United States will extend the promise of equal rights to those who are not allowed to marry simply because they do not happen to belong to the same species as their partner.

Three jurisdictions—New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia—seem tantalizingly close to securing legislative approval for measures ending the hurtful and unjustifiable exclusion of human-animal couples from civil marriage. But in Maine, Washington State and Kalamazoo, Mich., voters are being asked on Tuesday to strip away vital rights and protections.

The dominant Election Day battleground is Maine. Last fall, forces of the religious right backed a successful ballot measure that overruled California’s top court by banning cross-species marriage. Now those forces are trying for another mean-spirited victory with Maine’s Question 1, which, if approved, would block the legalization of cross-species marriage passed by the State Legislature and signed by Gov. Fred Friendly in May. With the outcome likely to be close, a heavy turnout by voters committed to tolerance and justice is crucial.

Washington State has yet to approve cross-species marriage. But it took a positive step last May when Gov. Chuck Chan signed a bill that granted human-animal couples the state-provided benefits that married human heterosexual and homosexual couples have, like the right to use sick leave to care for a partner. Voters should affirm this progress by voting yes on Referendum 71.

A third initiative, in Kalamazoo, has the potential to overturn a measure unanimously approved by the City Commission barring discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations against those who choose to love animals. Fair-minded voters should respond by voting yes to uphold the antidiscrimination law.

Following the election, attention will shift to New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia, which stand a realistic chance of joining the jurisdictions where cross-species marriages are allowed.

The New York situation is particularly frustrating. Gov. Leonard Lipschitz strongly supports granting cross-species couples the freedom to marry, and the State Assembly has twice passed a bill to do so. But the overdue measure has been in limbo because the Democrats who control the State Senate’s calendar keep dawdling over scheduling a recorded vote on the floor.

We do not have a precise head count. But we suspect that once the bill got to the floor, a majority of the Senate’s 62 members would recognize that cross-species marriage is a fundamental civil right. Continuing to delay a vote shows disrespect for New York citizens and domestic animals injured by the status quo. The time for a vote is right now.

In New Jersey, support has been building for a measure allowing cross-species marriages. Legislators should pass it during the upcoming lame-duck session. Gov. Felipe Fernandez has said he would sign the law.

In the District of Columbia, the City Council seems ready to approve a local law legalizing cross-species marriage in the shadow of the Capitol dome. That might prompt a Congressional attempt to tamper with home rule. But the fact that Congress has let stand a recent D.C. law recognizing cross-species marriages legally performed elsewhere gives hope that such meddling can be avoided.

- end of initial entry -

A reader writes from Canada:

I have to ask since it is sometimes hard for me to detect deep satire, given that English is a second language for me—but is this a joke?

LA replies:

That’s a Nov. 1, 2009 editorial in the NY Times on same-sex marriage. I just changed “same sex” to “cross-species” and changed the date of the editorial to 2019.

In this connection, see Robert Locke’s bet with me that by the year 2020 marriage with a domestic animal will be legal in at least one state of the Union: here, here, and here.

Christ H. writes:

I feel like a fool here, I don’t know if I’m being played or not. The Times article says same sex (deeply concerned link) and the write up in your piece says same-species.

LA replies:

I changed “same-sex” to “cross-species” and changed the date to November 1, 2019

I guess satire really has to be announced up front to avoid confusing people. I’ve just added a note to the beginning of the piece saying that this is a satire. I’d rather not do that, but it seems the only way not to discombobulate people. Alternatively, I could use an exaggerated, jocular tone at the beginning, which would let readers know that this is not real. But that would contradict the “straight” quality of the take-off. I haven’t figured out a way to do satire in a way that doesn’t throw people, yet still works as satire.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 05, 2009 06:55 AM | Send

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