Friday, December 29, 2006

Battle to Write Discrimination into the Constitution Heats Up in Alaska

The governor of Alaska vetoed a bill that would block the state from giving partner benefits to its gay and lesbian employees. Good news, right? Not really. The legislature was reacting to a court decision [PDF] that denying same-sex partners benefits violates the constitution's basic premise that "all persons are equal and entitled to equal rights." Governor Palin went out of her way to say that she agreed with the blatantly unconstitutional legislation, but said she still couldn't sign it because it was blatantly unconstitutional. Instead, she would like to amend the constitution to state not only that marriage is the union between one man and one woman (as it has since 1998) but also that none of the legal benefits or protections offered to married couples can go to those who cannot legally marry. In other words, Palin would essentially like to put an asterisk after "persons" in the constitution, which would define them at the bottom of the page as heterosexual people. Is that the next wave in constitutional amendments, or will there be an end to this blatantly unconstitutional madness, which also wastes the time and money that, as I understand it, Republicans favor?

The bill's sponsor, by the way, was Rep. John Coghill, R-North Pole. I hope he freezes to death. Or falls into the Artic as a result of global warming.

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