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Friday, April 13, 2007

Judiciary committee/same-sex marriage video roundup


Same-sex marriage moves one step closer to reality in Connecticut.
One of the Judiciary Committee Co-Chairman framed the 27 to 15 vote on gay marriage Thursday as “historic.”

Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, urged the members of the committee to look into the future and try to imagine how history will judge their vote because “no matter who you are or how you vote on this issue, this vote today will stand out in your mind in the future.”

The weight of Lawlor’s opening remarks resonated with both proponents and opponents of the legislation.
Here are video highlights of the meeting (with liveblogging comments from MLN).

State Rep. Rowe (R-123rd Dist) amendment and discussion.
That calls for a non-binding referendum to allow the people to have a say. To be held this coming November with the question "Do you support marriage for same-gendered couples in the state of CT?" Moved and seconded.

Rep. Lawlor opposes the amendment. Never once has the legislature resorted to this type of referendum, that's what our constituents put us here for, to represent their opinions. Thinks this would be a bad precedent to start and would undermine the role of the legislature in the long run. Also, with specific application to this issue, doesn't seem right to have a majority vote on the rights of a minority; no one has ever had to face a vote on his or her marriage.

Sen. Meyer asks whether this can be added without a public hearing on the issue, since it would be a change in law (Sen. Handley raised a similar question). Sen. McDonald says it's a proper amendment for committee's consideration. I have to step away so I'm going to miss the conclusion to this debate.

Sen Handley (D-4th Dist), supports bill:
Voted against civil unions bill in committee, voted for it on the floor as the best we could do at the time. (In other words, she wanted full marriage two years ago.) Discussion of evolution of definition of marriage, the roles of parents in raising children, etc etc. Also, expansion of civil rights--civil rights are an ongoing and developing organic thing. It's time for people who truly want to be married at a time when so many choose not to get married to have that right.

Uploaded by ctblogger

Rep. Minnie Gonzalez (D-3rd Dist), votes yes in committee but...
BUT will vote no on the floor. Two years ago, some committee members chose to leave the room rather than vote yes or no on the bill getting out of committee... Same thing happened on the floor, people disappeared. That's not why people put us here, they want us to know what's going on, they want us to ask them what they think, etc. She voted for civil union to get its full hearing so she voted it out of committee but then voted no on the floor. Will do the same with the marriage bill.

Rep. Pat Dillon (92nd Dist.), in favor of bill.

Very moving testimony, tough decision, but she's listened and is voting yes today.

Sen Ed Gomes (D-23rd Dist.)
Oooh, I missed the beginning of this, but he is MAD at Bill Donohue and that obnoxious email. He will not be bullied.

He believes in live and let live. He is voting for this b/c he thinks it's the right thing to do. And another shout out at Donohue. Wow, he is mad. (And rightfully so.)

Rep. Bruce Morris (D-140th Dist.) goes on and on and on...
Morris is citing the Loving v. Virginia decision, which I've done a lot of research on myself. Here's the Wikipedia entry on Loving V. Virginia.

And I'd just like to quote from this key text from Loving to put this in context, with text on race replaced with sexual orientation/gender:

Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as sexual orientation, a classification so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by gender or sexual orientation. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of the same gender resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.

State Rep. William Tong (147th Dist.), voting yes.
Today, tomorrow, from now on. I love this guy.

Rep Tong
Uploaded by ctblogger

Senator Andrew McDonald (D-27th Dist.), voting yes (and roll count on same-sex bill).
I'm so proud of him. It's a proud moment for him -- hey, a proud moment for us, too. I'm so proud that my Senator is leading the committee that is leading our legislature on the right side of history on the marriage equality issue.

History will look back on you as a hero, Senator. No doubt about it.