The Equality State done itself proud, in a rare break from it's normal ultra-conservative reputation. Although it wasn't totally liberating, they didn't take 2 steps backwards.
This year, in Wyoming's 60th Legislative Session, House Joint Resolution 17, also known as the "Defense of Marriage" resolution, failed by a vote of 35-25. If it had passed, it would have put on the ballot for a state constitutional amendment to be put to the voters of the state. That will not happen this year, but I don't see the issue as a dead one. Becky Vandeberghe, who is chairwoman or chairperson to be politically correct, of WyWatch Family Institute, a Wyoming based group that lobbies in support of legislation that promotes the "Sanctity of Marriage" and other narrow-minded "Let's control all the state's social issues by our own warped sense of reality" issues, called Friday's vote a "grave injustice." Oh yes, it was a truly grave injustice, but for whom? Is Becky not comfortable with her own morality and sexuality?
"The elitist legislators decided not to accurately represent the people of Wyoming, and we certainly do hope that their constituents will take a look at their voting record and keep track of it for the election in 2010," said Vandeberghe, who promised to push for similar legislation in the future. Oh no, she made a promise for more misguided political theater.
Becky, that sounded like a threat to me! Oh Becky, what are we going to do with you? Mr. Dobson might be looking for a new protege, hay?
Although it didn't pass the House, it does not mean same-sex marriages can be legally done here, because Wyoming law already stipulates that only marriages between a man and woman are valid, but the law also requires the state to recognize valid unions performed in other states. That was the part that the right wanted to change, the part where "the state recognizes valid unions performed in other states". That was how they were going to defend marriage, by giving a religious, or their religious definition to a legal civil union. How they think it will defend there own narrow-minded concept of marriage is beyond me. How are they really threatened? Is it a physical threat? Verbal? Sexual? Moral? A threat to their self-esteem and self-worth? I don't know? I give up!
The resolution sponsor, Rep. Owen Petersen, R-Mountain View, said, "It's my opinion that voters should be allowed to express their opinion on this social issue, and not leave the matter to the courts or some other source,"
Rep. Petersen stated he was inundated with tons of letters in support of the resolution, (I would truly like to see the tons of letters myself.) and he pointed to a private study (And I'd like to see that private study too.) that he said showed overwhelming support for the amendment among members of the Wyoming public.
Petersen said, "It is a society policy decision that needs to be done." No, it is a decision that wants to impose your moral/religious standards on everyone else. Separation of church and state comes to mind here.
Something that is forgotten by legislators, both on a state and national level, and many citizens, is the question, what is a democracy or a republic?
We have heard for many years that we are a "democracy". This was not the vision of our founding fathers, as they saw democracy as another form of tyranny. The word “democracy” appears no where in our Constitution, or “The Declaration of Independence”. We are a constitutional republic. These words are not interchangeable, but over time, semantic inattentiveness has caused us to use these words way too loosely. Our founding fathers would be deeply saddened by both our laziness, and our lack of comprehension of the differences.
So you are probably thinking now, “What is the difference between a democracy and a republic form of government?” In a republic form of government, there is rule of law, and the law can protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. All of its citizens, including government officials, are accountable to the same laws. The government power is limited and decentralized through a system of checks and balances. The framers' vision of a republic contrast with that of a democracy. In a democracy, the majority rules either directly or through its elected representatives. As in a monarchy, the law is whatever the government determines it to be. Laws do not represent reason. They represent power. The restraint is upon the individual instead of government. Unlike that visualized under a republican form of government, rights are seen as privileges and permissions that are granted by government and can be revoked by the government. In a democracy, the majority rules, meaning that there are no protections for minority rights. Whatever the majority wants rules the day.
Chalk up one for the good guys, at least for now. Until tomorrow, Ciao!