First Illinois, and now Hawai’i, where the same-sex marriage debate began in earnest about a generation ago. That’s 16 states plus D.C. now, encompassing 98.5 million Americans, about 31% of the population.
And in New Mexico, the only state that neither prohibits not allows SSM, some county clerks are testing the waters by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Meanwhile the state’s Supreme Court has heard oral arguments on the matter and it’s ruling is awaited. In that care, though, it’s not plaintiffs arguing for SSM but against the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses and a request by all the state’s countu clerks for a rulong to clarify the matter. Two district court judges have already ruled that the state cobstitution’s equal protection clause. I’m pretty optimistic about that one.
Hawai’i’s legalization is intetrsting for another reason as well. The state legislature voted to legalize SSM, and a judge refused a request to block implementation of the based on a voter-approved 1998 constitutional amendment intended to block SSM. The text of the amendment says ‘The legislature shall have power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples.” The plaintiffs argued that the voters thought they were voting to define marriage as between a man and a woman. Well, they may have thought do, but the text quite clearly says something different, allowing the legislature to do it that way, but not requiring it to. That’s a common problem with direct democracy. I always find it amusing.
All this good news about SSM makes me very happy. People I care about are going to have the same rights as me.