Civil union
2 min

This week in marriage: one step forward in the UK, two steps back in the US

If the rumours are true, gays will have a reason to celebrate this weekend. 

Conservative insiders in the UK have leaked reports that the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government will introduce legislation supporting same-sex marriage very shortly, after the personal intervention of the country’s Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron. If true, the UK would become the 11th country in the world to have legislated nationwide same-sex marriage rights. Or, if you’re a nationalist, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland would become the 11th to 14th countries to legalize same-sex marriage.

Elton John will soon have no excuse not to make an honest man out of David Furnish.

The other countries with nationwide same-sex marriage are Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa and Sweden. Mexico and the United States allow same-sex marriage in some jurisdictions. Brazilian judges began allowing same-sex marriage this year, but no law has been passed by Brazil’s congress. Australia is currently debating same-sex marriage as well. 

It’s not all rainbows and sunshine for gay marriage this week, though.

Earlier this week, North Carolina’s legislators, celebrating the Republican takeover of the House, which had been held for 140 years by Democrats, passed a bill calling for a referendum to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage in the state. North Carolina already has a law on the books banning same-sex marriage, and it is the only state in the southeast that doesn’t have a constitutional ban on gay marriage. 

Putting gay marriage on the ballot has been a tactic to motivate the Republican base to the polls in previous US elections, and it’s clear that Republicans hope the referendum will bring out supporters in 2012. Obama narrowly carried the state in 2008 by a margin of less than 0.5 percent.

Meanwhile, a small group of Republican legislators in New Hampshire is attempting to prove that nothing gold can stay (points if you get the literary reference) by working to repeal the state’s same-sex marriage law. They’re offering a “compromise” that would reinstate civil unions, but with fewer rights than civil unions granted when they were enacted in 2007. Hopefully the keystone state will stick to its principles on this one.

And in fictional gay marriage, conservatives are all a-titter over the imminent, alternate-universe same-sex marriage of fictional Archie Comics character Kevin Keller. As we’ve previously reported, Archie launched the Kevin character in a bid to have the books reflect the 21st-century world. It’s great that Archie is introducing its readers to positive gay characters, and it’s pleasing to see that Archie’s getting so much publicity for Kevin’s antics. Seriously, when was the last time Archie Comics were relevant at all?


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