January 02, 2009
Change I hope I can believe in
Posted by: Chris
- Pass the DREAM Act: 2,219 votes
- Equal immigration rights for same-sex couples: 1,011 votes
- Citizenship route through marriage for undocumented immigrants: 850 votes
It's especially heartening to see this modest proposal compete effectively outside the area of gay rights, which was a separate category on the website, which is unaffiliated with Barack Obama's official transition site, Change.gov.
As I explained in an earlier post, the top three ideas in each category now go into a second round of voting, and the top 10 ideas from that round will be presented to the president after the inauguration and the website's affiliated groups have vowed to lobby for their enactment.
In the area of gay rights, these three ideas move on to the second round:
- Pass marriage equality rights for LGBT couples nationwide: 2,889 votes
- Pass the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act: 877 votes
- Repeal the Defense of Marriage Act: 852 votes
The new Congress is expected to quickly enact the hate crimes bill, which already passed both houses last year. It's noteworthy how much more important relationship recognition was to the voters, dwarfing all other categories. (Enacting a trans-inclusive ENDA came in fourth place, at 779 votes, and does not go on to the second round.)
Of course the new president and Congress can't simply "pass marriage equality rights," and Obama does not support gay marriage anyway. But they can either repeal DOMA (idea #3) or they can enact federal civil unions, extending all the rights and benefits of marriage under federal law to gay couples who enter into marriages, civil unions and domestic partnerships.
Stay tuned for the second round of voting, which will begin on Jan. 5.
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