Progress To The West

Word comes today that Minnesota may legalize gay marriage in the very near future.  In fact, the Minnesota House of Representatives may vote on a legalization bill as early as this Thursday.  Leaders of the majority-party DFL (Minnesota's Democratic party) in both chambers of the legislature have indicated that they won't bring such a bill up for a vote unless they know it can pass, so the fact that a vote is being scheduled means this is probably gonna happen.

Kudos to the Gopher State for being ready to join the trend of social progress.  I am stunned by the speed at which tolerance and acceptance of gay marriage has spread across this country in just the past couple of months;  really since about the time of the March U.S. Supreme Court hearings on DOMA and Proposition 8.  Sure, many of the public pronouncements of support by the likes of U.S. senators is probably a realization that being pro-gay marriage is no longer an electoral liability, so there's some bandwagonning going on here.  However, support is support, and equal rights is a good thing.

I have never understood why a person who is conservative on fiscal and economic issues, perhaps a defense hawk and perhaps even pro-life should feel ostracised from the GOP simply because that person is gay.  Man, a person can be gay and believe in small government and low taxes.  (Also, if conservatives believe the government should stay out of private lives, why have the government banning a personal choice that does not directly affect the lives of others -- a choice that is rooted in love and even religion?  What about separation of church and state?).

Sure, as a Democrat, I appreciate the support pro-gay-rights fiscal conservatives have given my chosen party over the years (it happens among big donors), but it is only because those people feel out of place in what should be their ideological home.  Also, how are our lives -- anyone's really -- hurt by allowing gays to marry?  If a gay couple lived a couple blocks from me, will I be harmed?  Will anyone else?  Will I even know they live there?  No, no and, probably, no.

Since Wisconsin is likely to be under Republican control throughout the decade due to pro-GOP redistricting and the ineptitude of the state Democratic party, I don't see Wisconsin undoing its consitutional amendment banning gay marriage (barring a dramatic U.S. Supreme Court ruling overriding state bans).  This is unfortunate, but Wisconsin's GOP leaders should consider:  what's the proper, moral approach?  Allowing people to enter committed, life-long relationships with a person they love and raise a family is truly moral and libertarian.  Learn from Minnesota.  Learn what is truly "right."