Opening her show Friday, Rachel Maddow discussed the American anti-gay lobby taking their efforts internationally to Russia and Uganda. Both countries have exhibited hostilities towards LGBT persons. Russia with the passage of the gay propaganda law and Uganda's parliament passing their grotesque "kill the gays" bill. At the same time, there is something happening in this country happening regarding gay rights.
Two more states recently joined the ranks of recognizing same-sex marriages. New Mexico's state supreme court unanimously ruled that same-sex couples have the right to get married in their state.
The second state was a case ruled in federal court. The judge was an Obama appointee.
The case impacted Utah.
Utah is the 18th state to recognize same-sex marriages.
No, that is NOT a type-o. Here is the story.
Within an hour of the story breaking, same-sex couples in The Beehive State were getting marriage licenses.
Well, anytime a new state joins the ranks of equal marriage, I break out my handy dandy Nate Silver Gay Marriage Chart.
(You may want to book mark it)
Nate Silver boldly predicted earlier this year that 44 + DC out of 50 states will embrace marriage equality by the year 2020.
Anyone who doubts him....
The chart shows when popular support for equal marriage will happen by public opinion and likely a vote. Texas is projected to embrace it by at the earliest 2020, though I think if you talk to people in Texas you'll be pleasantly surprised.
So far the only states that have recognized marriage equality have been states that went for Obama in 2012 and 2008.
Utah is a red state. In 2008, Senator McCain won the state 63-34. In the recent presidential election, Romney won the state by a nearly 3 to 1. If you asked me which states would be last to recognize marriage equality: a tie between Mississippi and Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Utah.
Looking at the chart, Utah was expected to have majority support around the same time as Texas, again, the year 2020. Utah is 7 years ahead of schedule. Iowa's courts ruled in favor of marriage equality in 2009. Per the chart, it was not expected to have support in Iowa until 2016.
With Utah being the first red state to join the marriage equality foray, is there another red state where it could happen?
Currently there is a case being heard in federal court in San Antonio involving two couples: two women who live in Austin and married in
Taxachusetts Massachusetts, and two men
who applied for a license in San Antonio but were denied. These couples are
challenging the state's 2005 constitutional amendment defining marriage as
being a union
of one man and one woman. This case has implications in the gubernatorial
election. The defendant in the case is Greg Abbott, the current attorney
general and likely Republican candidate for governor.
With Utah breaking the Red State Seal, I believe that other dominoes will come tumbling down and marriage equality will happen in all 50 states + DC in our lifetimes and then we can focus on other pressing issues.
These are indeed interesting times we are living in people.