If the state of New York had a right hand that was prone to overly stupid physical gestures, I would high-five it this week. In fact, if the state of New York wanted a hug, I could even do that. A French kiss, totally. If New York said to me, “It’s been awhile since I’ve felt barely there breasts,” I would take off my training bra and let New York have it. If New York then started to push my head down toward its privates, I would let it know that was rude and that I most certainly don’t swallow, but I would leave my protests there.
In case you haven’t heard, I’m mentally blowing New York right now because they legalized gay marriage on Friday. They are the sixth state to do this (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire and Vermont came first), but it is hugely significant because their population of 19 million is more than the other five states combined and unlike California no one is contesting it. (For the record, it’s legal in Washington D.C. too.)
You know who is not getting fellated any time soon though? The Centennial State, and it goes without saying that Colorado Springs is partially to blame. A little history on this point. The 2011 legislature actually came very close to passing a civil union bill (Senate Bill 172) that would have “allowed adults, regardless of gender, to file a claim on wrongful death, be eligible for family-leave benefits and make decisions relating to the medical care and treatment of their loved ones” (Senate gives nod to civil unions, Denver Post). Sponsored by openly gay democratic legislators, Mark Ferrandino (House) and Pat Steadman (Senate), the bill sailed through the senate with support from twenty Democrats and three Republicans (Jean White, Nancy Spence and Ellen Roberts), but then died after eight hours of debate March 31, 2011 in a judiciary committee composed of 5 Democrats and 6 Republicans (three of which naturally came from El Paso county) and everyone voted on party lines. In other words, the bill died 6-5, even though it had Governor Hickenlooper’s support and recent polls have shown that 70% of Coloradans support legally recognizing the relationships of our gay citizens.
For now, Colorado can console itself with the fact that it’s still better than Texas (who has no statewide employment discrimination laws and no recognition or legal protection of gay couples), and the Designated Beneficiary Agreements Act of 2009, signed into law by Governor Ritter. “This provision protects 16 rights, as listed in section 15-22-105(3) of the Colorado Revised Statutes. They include: real and personal property; trusts; recognition as a beneficiary and dependent for a public employee retirement system, local firefighter or police pension, life and health insurance; petitions for priority of appointment as a conservator, guardian, or personal representative; visitation rights in health care facilities; filing complaints on behalf of a nursing home patient; acting as a proxy decision-maker for medical and surgical treatment; receiving notice of withholding/withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures; inheritance issues; workers’ compensation; suing for wrongful death; anatomical gifts; and disposition of last remains.” (The Colorado Lawyer).
I realize that saying you are better than Texas basically just amounts to you not filming the mountains while you drive and cutting the word “y’all” out of your vocabulary while utilizing textbooks with real facts, but Colorado at least has a start, and according to the talking heads, the country trends after New York so this is a BIG FUCKING DEAL, not just for gay rights but for civil rights. In other words, Congratulations.