A New Set of Talking Points

Monday, May 16, 2005

A New Set of Talking Points

Now that a state has enacted a gay civil unions law without prompting by a court order, Religious Right groups are having to create a new list of talking points. Instead of blasting "liberal courts" and "judicial activism," the Family Institute of Connecticut — a group that opposed the state's new civil unions law — struggled to find reasons to whine about the state legislature's decision to extend these rights to gay people.

LAME ARGUMENT #1: A governor who isn’t elected to his or her position isn’t allowed to sign a controversial bill into law. As FIC puts it:
“… the most sweeping change to hit CT’s family life in decades was signed into law by a governor who was never elected to the position.”
Ridiculous. When Rick Perry succeeded Dubya as Texas’ governor, I don’t recall so-called “pro-family” groups telling Perry he had no right to sign any controversial bill into law.

LAME ARGUMENT #2: State legislators voted against the public’s wishes. As FIC whined:
“Thousands of CT’s pro-family citizens called their legislators about the bill — so many, in fact, that we shut down their switchboards for days. But several senators began their speeches by saying that, while most of their constituents opposed the bill, they will vote for it anyway.”
FIC doesn’t mention, of course, that a Quinnipiac University poll released in early April found that 56 percent of Connecticut voters favored civil unions.

LAME ARGUMENT #3: The civil unions bill was rushed through the legislature without allowing ample time for debate. According to FIC:
“The bill, which moved through the legislature at an unbelievably quick pace, was signed hours after it was passed because Gov. Rell asked [state] senators to suspend the normal rules of procedure.”
What FIC doesn’t bother to mention is that the history of the civil unions proposal in Connecticut goes back four years to a hearing that was held by a legislative committee. Nearly two months passed between the date that the state House Judiciary Committee approved the bill (Feb. 23) and the date on which the bill was signed into law (April 20).

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