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    January 02, 2009

    Change I hope I can believe in

    Posted by: Chris

    Letmypartnerstay Thanks in part to you, the readers of this blog, equal immigration rights for same-sex couples finished in 2nd place among all immigration-related proposals in voting on Change.org:

    1. Pass the DREAM Act: 2,219 votes
    2. Equal immigration rights for same-sex couples: 1,011 votes
    3. 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:

    1. Pass marriage equality rights for LGBT couples nationwide: 2,889 votes
    2. Pass the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act: 877 votes
    3. 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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    Comments

    1. Michael Schmidt on Jan 3, 2009 1:26:43 PM:

      Well lets hope it means something, unfortunately when these things actually come up for a vote, the religous right is very good at getting phone banks and email campaign calling for their failures in full force.

      I used to to think my unoffical "mother in law" had a bit of a negative attitude. Her live by statement "expect nothing and you wont be disappointed". After 8 years of a sickening Bush Administration and the preceding years of a republican controlled congress and moderate Cllinton...Lord in heaven do we dare to hope again? or play it safe and expect nothing?

      Lets hope its change we really can believe in, but if not does it mean the end of the peaceful democratic pursuit or does it signal a time go get organized and shame folks into positive change?

    1. dimitri on Jan 3, 2009 2:47:35 PM:

      BTW, you can also sign a petition via change.org to tell Congress to pass the UAFA.

      change.org/...UAFA

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