I'm Getting increasingly pessimistic about marriage equality in Rhode Island May 7, 2009Posted by truthspew in marriage equality.
I understand the perceived constraints that we’re up against. I think a large part of it is not having enough contact with our legislators. As I’ve previously posted, we need a grand total of 68 (45 hours, 23 senate) votes to override a veto by that asshole Governor Carcieri.
That’s 68 people. I know there are a lot more gay people in every district in Rhode Island that could lean on their legislators. Legislators are creatures of habit, and easy to find and contact. This is after all Rhode Island where you’re only one and a half degrees separated from just about anyone else.
But one thing that constantly astounds me is the perception that the Rhode Island Judiciary is hostile to any potential legal challenges. Certainly the Chambers v. Ormiston case was a let down, but one of the justices helpfully suggested the proper way to frame the case as a constitutional issue on which strict scrutiny would apply.
I understand it takes money to run a grassroots campaign. I understand that a legal challenge would also be costly. We need a development effort to get funding so that we can effectively lobby the legislature, so that we can educate the judiciary.
Back to the legislature – they don’t live in a vacuum. They know that marriage equality has now been granted via courts and legislatures in a half dozen other states. Even the ProJo had an article about Maine and New Hampshire in which the first sentence stated:
AUGUSTA, Maine — Rhode Island would be the last New England state without such a law if New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch signs a similar bill approved by the New Hampshire Legislature, or lets it become law without his signature.
So it isn’t like our legislators and justices didn’t see this one. They know RI is next, and sooner than later.