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Weak Constitution

The Roberts Court may not legalize gay marriage, but it’s hard to imagine that it’ll uphold Prop 8 and DOMA

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On April 1, the domestic partnership bill finally cleared its first Senate committee, after being tabled twice. But the bill’s chances of clearing its next four committees – plus the House, plus the governor – are less than stellar.

We’re supposed to tell ourselves that even getting a hearing is progress.

Of course, at this hearing we’re treated to the sanctimonious testimony of Florida Family Policy Council president John Stemberger, a professional theocrat who’s never had to worry about what someone else’s Imaginary Friend thinks of his relationship.

Stemberger and his ilk’s case is twofold. Their first claim is that the legislation is unnecessary because gay couples can use legal workarounds. (Next week in these pages, Billy Manes will offer a detailed look at what jumping through these hoops actually entails.) The second is that, as he testified to the Senate’s Children,

Family, and Elders Committee on Feb. 19, domestic partnerships “are usually an incremental approach to achieving gay marriage.”

On that point at least, Stemberger’s correct. He, too, sees the writing on the wall. In all likelihood, so do even the most conservative legislators. And yet they continue to rage against the dying of the light, and will continue doing so until they’re dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century.

Follow Jeffrey Billman on Twitter: @jeffreybillman

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