Lost your job, can’t find another one, you can’t see a doctor and your home is being taken away?
Well, fear not, my friend, for after months of lobbying, the governor of the great state of Washington has just selflessly made herself a media darling by signing a bill that will … change the definition of “domestic partners” to that of “married couple”.
Never mind. You’re screwed.
It’s official. On June 7th, gay couples will be able to marry in the State of Washington.
As a lifelong supporter of gay marriage, one would think that I’m fairly psyched about this development. For some reason, however, I just can’t muster any enthusiasm.
In the late 2000′s, Washington passed a domestic partnership law that was pretty comprehensive. It didn’t change domestic partnership to “marriage”, but given what it did provide for (the same rights with more ease and convenience of formation), it was just semantics.
This year, however, Governor Christine Gregoire decided that, since she couldn’t solve the state’s budget issues, couldn’t solve the education issues, couldn’t solve the healthcare issues, couldn’t solve the foreclosure issues, couldn’t solve the growing wage gap issues, couldn’t solve the unemployment issues, couldn’t solve the law enforcement issues, couldn’t solve the transportation issues, couldn’t solve any of the 100+ more important issues that face this state … she would take up the life-and-death issue of changing the title of “domestic partnership” to “marriage”. She decided that this would be the signature issue of her tenure.
And we wonder why this state has so many problems.
Look, don’t get me wrong. I’m happy that gay folks get the title they have so desperately wanted. It’s all fine and good. As a priority for the Governor, however, well, I’m not nearly as happy.
I wish Christine would get half as fired up about the myriad of other issues facing us as she was about this mostly-ceremonial issue. In modern-day Washington, discrimination against gay people is just not a huge problem. On average, gay folks are more affluent and politically active than their hetero counterparts.
Instead of spending so much time attacking specious discrimination against a politically powerful group, and selfishly basking in the national spotlight for her supposed dedication to hip causes, I’d rather see the resources spent on helping all Washingtonians, regardless of their popularity.
My 2 cents, and it’s worth every penny.