This Presidents’ Day saw a massive influx of citizenry swarm the capitol as they attempted to communicate their stance on several issues to the hardest of hearing legislature in our grand country. One would think that these people, having elected the very legislators they were reaching out to, would feel that their voices were heard, but one is not so optimistic after the actions on the floors of both the House and Senate had passed.
HB282 and SB179 are about equality, and both had hearings in their relative committees, and both were unceremoniously tabled along party lines. Several progressive organizations pulled together and brought in busloads of people working every day on these issues, to be at the capitol, to lobby their representatives and senators, and to see the system in action. Senator Christine Kaufmann attempted a blast motion to get her bill to the floor of the senate, and it failed along party lines. Representative Bryce Bennett attempted the same thing in the House, and it, too, failed, although there are a couple fair-minded GOP in the House, which might have been the biggest shock of the day.
While these attempts failed, they had unintended consequences. The people who arrived were prepared for a fight, and prepared to lose, and knew full-well that was the most likely result. The optimistic youth that thought they couldn’t lose, however, received a very rude awakening to the fact this fight is not over and won’t be over for a while. Marriage was just one part of it, and not even the most important.
It’s quite disgusting to realize that bigotry and hatred not only exist, but infect the halls of power in our lives. Finding that truth in the actions of the elders of the legislature is disheartening, but ultimately sets us up to win in the long run – a run that gets shorter by the day.
Oh, and Senator Rosendale, we especially raise our dirty martini in a toast to your caustic smirk and self-serving, dismissive waggle of your fingers as the supporters of equality left the Senate balcony was not only observed, it was commented on and you have made yourself a bigger target of our quest to rid the legislature of bigots and idiots. Congrats to you and yours for all that you’ve done on the wrong side of history. May it never be forgotten.