Fred Clark makes a telling point about about the Delaware legislature’s vote to establish civil unions.
What was remarkable was how big a deal this wasn’t. On the one hand, Equality Delaware is right to describe this vote as “historic” — the state took a big step toward legal equality for a group to whom that equality was previously denied. In that sense this is, as Delawarean Joe Biden would say, a big freakin’ deal.
But the general mood and prevailing response was that it’s 2011 and this step is long overdue, so let’s just get it done already. Gov. Markell’s general tone has been that of course this should be passed and signed, so let’s not dawdle over such a no-big-deal no-brainer. If opponents weren’t able to articulate a coherent argument for their opposition, he wasn’t going to waste any time trying to engage that lack of an argument.
A rally in opposition to the measure last week was sparsely attended by a crowd that showed little of the histrionic enthusiasm we saw back in 2004. The Republican leader in Delaware’s House dutifully opposed the bill, but:
… said he did not see the bill’s passage as a great loss or as a threat to society, as some opponents had warned
“This is democracy in action,” he said. “Sometimes you win; sometimes you lose.”
When the losing side is yawning, you know you’ve won for good.