Monday, May 9, 2011

The Nuptial News

There's been a lot of marriage news lately. But enough about the Royal Wedding.

On these shores, the struggle for same-sex marriage has been as wobbly as a tipsy bride.

Look at Rhode Island. Hopes were high that Little Rhody would become the sixth state to allow gay marriage. But House Speaker Gordon Fox announced the legislation wouldn't pass the Senate, so he was backing civil unions instead.

Rhode Island started off down the aisle, then got cold feet.

Fox, interestingly enough, is openly gay. Advocates of same-sex marriage are openly angry at his decision. Martha Holt of Marriage Equality Rhode Island said in a statement, "We cannot support legislation that establishes a second class of citizens in Rhode Island."

When Vermont granted civil unions 11 years ago, they were the cat's meow. Now many consider them something the cat dragged in.

Marriage activists have unusual company in their opposition to civil unions: the Catholic Church and the National Organization for Marriage. These anti-gay forces want lawmakers to reject the legislation because civil unions, they say, are a stepping-stone to gay marriage.

Let's hope so.

In other marriage news, we turn now to that all-American boil, Donald Trump. When talking to a New York Times reporter about his opposition to same-sex marriage, Trump used a golf metaphor.

"A lot of people—I don't want this to sound trivial—but a lot of people are switching to these really long putters, very unattractive," said the kind-of-sort-of Republican presidential candidate. "It's weird. You see these great players with these really long putters, because they can't sink three-footers anymore. And, I hate it. I am a traditionalist. I have so many fabulous friends who happen to be gay, but I am a traditionalist."

Yes, the Donald is comparing your relationship to a golf club. Fore!

If he becomes president, he'll see to it that America doesn't resort to gay marriage or ugly putters. Because he's a traditionalist—who's been married three times.

Let's check out the poll conducted by Public Policy Polling that revealed a majority of Republicans now support some form of legal recognition for gay couples.

Most thought gay couples should receive a notarized certificate reading "Nice try" and a $5 Dunkin' Donuts card.

Actually, of the more than 1,000 Republicans nationwide who were polled, 12 percent favored full marriage rights, and 39 percent favored civil unions. That's a total of 51 percent in support of legal recognition, compared to the 48 percent who believed gay couples should have no legal rights, and ought to move to the Yukon.

Finally we head to the state of New York where it appears the legislature will vote on marriage equality pretty darn soon. In 2009 same-sex marriage died in the Senate. What will the Senate do this time? Both sides are pushing like mad. Oh, the drama.

Former President Bill Clinton, a New York resident, weighed in. He released a statement through the HRC that said each time this nation has extended rights to those previously denied them, America has become stronger, so let's do it again, New York.

I keep picturing Bill in a spangled red, white and blue suit, backed by the Rockettes.

Chelsea Clinton helped kick off statewide phone banking in Manhattan. She made some phone calls, and told the volunteers she was proud of her father's stand. She said, reported The Advocate, "I am unabashedly biased toward my parents, and I am also unabashedly biased toward the right to marry."

Clinton herself got hitched last July, and she said marriage equality would be a fine first-anniversary present. Indeed, the traditional first-anniversary gift is paper. A document with the signature of the governor of New York would work nicely.