BY ROB SALERNO – Despite my cheeky headline from a couple of days ago, it appears that President Obama’s statement in support of equal marriage is actually paying off in some American jurisdictions, with state leaders coming out in favour of marriage equality.
Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee signed an executive order obliging the state to recognize gay marriages performed out of state for all official purposes. Rhode Island’s legislature decided not to legalize same-sex marriage last year, opting instead for civil unions. The executive order means that Rhode Island gay couples who wed in any of the nearby states that perform same-sex marriages will enjoy new rights in health and life insurance, parenting and property ownership.
And Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has announced his support for equal marriage at a time when the legislature is considering just such a bill. After Iowa, it would be the second state in the Midwest to legalize same-sex marriage.
But in some parts of the States, it seems Obama’s announcement has gotten opponents’ backs up. After three committees of the Colorado legislature voted to enact same-sex civil unions and the state’s governor even recalled the legislature to a special session to deal with the issue before it breaks, state Republicans killed the initiative.
And in Nebraska, activists are already working to kill the City of Lincoln’s recently passed anti-discrimination ordinance.
Meanwhile, at least one other foreign kingdom has joined the push for marriage equality in the wake of Obama’s announcement: the Magic Kingdom. Specifically, Tokyo Disney.
Staffers at Tokyo Disney Resort recently allowed a lesbian couple to wed on the grounds. Is it time for Cogsworth and Lumiere to finally tie the knot? How about Timone and Pumba? Gay marriage remains unrecognized in Japan.