1 min read
Posted on 05.26.09
  • 1 min read
  • Posted on 05.26.09

Sometime in early June, legislators in New Hampshire will consider a bill that will legalize gay marriage in that state, but protect religious institutions and their employees who disagree with it. In New England alone, Connecticut, Maine, and Vermont have already approved such laws. In the Midwest, Iowa has.

Same-sex marriage is currently so illegal in Missouri that it would take a combination of actions by the General Assembly, a popular petition, a convention, a statewide vote, and the signature of the governor to change our laws.

I do not think that is going happen easily in Missouri — or soon — even though I do not believe that legalizing such unions would hurt society, the civil institution of marriage, the state of Missouri, or anyone in particular.

As a practical person, I would rather spend my efforts ensuring that certain benefits — i.e., joint ownership, survivorship, medical decision making — are available to all Missouri couples.

The City of St. Louis already has a domestic partnership registry, established by City ordinance, that records the status of a couple’s commitment and protects a few very basic rights. And as a progressive employer, the City has been able to include a fair access to some benefits as part of its personnel policies. Few (no?) other places in the state do even this much. I am looking for ways to do more.