A reader tipped me to this article heralding the good news in Connecticut where, by a margin of 27-9, the Connecticut State Senate voted to recognize civil unons between same-sex couples. Six Republicans joined 21 Democrats in voting for the bill. Republican Governor M. Jodi Rell favors the concept of civil unions, but has not taken a stand on this particular legislation.
Yet, not everyone is happy. “Brian Brown, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, had maintained that most voters do not support civil unions or same-sex marriage, and he called the vote ‘a slap in the face of democracy.’”
Called the vote a slap in the face of democracy? Since when is a vote of elected legislators a slap in the face of democracy?
This guy seems to be mimicking the rhetoric of those reacting to court decisions mandating same-sex marriage. In Connecticut, however, it was a little different. You see, an elected legislator presented a bill to the legislature, all of whose members, were elected by people from the various districts of the Nutmeg State. They debated the bill. Some Senators spoke out in favor of the bill, others against. Both sides got to make their case. Afterwards, Senators voted on the bill, first in committee, then in the full Senate.
That’s not a slap in the face of democracy. That is democracy.
If Mr. Brown has a problem with this legislation, he can appeal to the elected members of the State House, which has yet to vote on the bill, to defeat it. Failing that, he can appeal to the Governor of Connecticut, who was elected (albeit to the position of Lieutenant Governor, but who assumed her current position in accordance with the state Constution when her predecessor Governor John Rowland resigned). Should the legislation clear all these hurdles, then, Mr. Brown still has another option. He can recruit candidates to run against those who voted for (or signed) the legislation.
Mr. Brown may not like the outcome in Connecticut. He may not be happy that Connecticut will be the first state to recognize same-sex civil unions without being forced to by a court, but the Nutmeg State is relying upon the democratic process, through republican institutions, to recognize such unions. The beauty of this process is that if people, like Mr. Brown, have a problem with laws passed by the legislature (and signed by the Governor), they can appeal to the voters who elected the representatives who voted in favor of the legislation. And if, as Mr. Brown claims, Connecticut voters don’t support civil unions, they may just vote those legislators out.
I, for one, am celebrating the good news. One state has recognized same-sex unions. And it done so through the democratic process. Way to go, Connecticut!
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com