"Gay Rights Rainbow" on the Horizon?

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Not everyone who huddled around their televisions last Tuesday was celebrating the election returns. For conservatives in at least five states, the clouds are gathering for a dark deluge of anti-family legislation. While Republicans were cheering their big gains, the Left's went somewhat unnoticed. But they won't be overlooked for long. In Hawaii, California, Illinois, Rhode Island, and New York, gay rights advocates have quietly assembled a gubernatorial "dream team" that's ready to rumble on major

social issues. "All are likely to sign gay marriage bills--and all are likely to have the chance to do so," warned Cheryl Wetzstein of the Washington Times. In Hawaii, where Governor Linda Lingle just recently vetoed a civil unions bill, her successor is urging legislators to try again. Former Senator Neil Abercrombie (D) promises to do what Lingle would not. " Civil unions respect our diversity, protect people's privacy and reinforce our core values of equality and aloha... I am committed to that..." he said in a statement. With Democrats still in firm control of Hawaii's House and Senate, he may have the opportunity.

Just across the Pacific Ocean, his California counterpart, Prop 8 naysayer Jerry Brown vowed more of the same. "When I take office, I pledge to continue being a champion for LGBT Californians," he said. Brown is referring, of course, to his reputation of putting the gay agenda before his constitutional duties. As attorney general, he refused to fight for the state's marriage amendment, even though he was duty-bound to defend it. Although Brown will be the defining figure in the legal battle over Prop 8, his legacy of activism in the attorney general's office might not last. At the moment, the state's attorney general race is too close to call--and its implications for the suit over Prop 8 are enormous. Unlike his opponent, Republican Steve Cooley promises to appeal the case--and as attorney general, he would have the standing necessary to take this case to the next level. To say that a lot is riding on this recount is an understatement.

Elsewhere, new Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) will be heading up a legislature that was less affected by the GOP tide. Democrats still control the general assembly and Governor's office, prompting state Sen. Dave Luechtefeld (R) to say, "I woke up the morning after, and I thought, 'the same people are running the place.'" And those same people want to redefine marriage. Just this week, Quinn said he's lobbying for a civil unions bill to be on his desk by the time he takes office. "I think we can pass it this year," he told reporters, hinting at an aggressive lame-duck push. On the East Coast, little Rhode Island, which has introduced a same-sex "marriage" bill each of the last 13 years, is on track to legalize phony unions with Independent Lincoln Chafee at the helm. The Governor-elect, who had the backing of homosexual groups in the election, officially lost his endorsement last week for tweeting that he would sign civil unions into law but was "in favor of it going on the ballot" for voters to decide. New York's new chief executive doesn't share his view. Andrew Cuomo (D) has made it clear from the beginning that he plans to be the Governor who signs same-sex "marriage" into law. What a coincidence. We plan to be the first people in line to stop him.


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