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Nine more hours (minus intermissions) of debate

rsc and I watched from noon until midnight minus various recesses for caucuses. 1/2 way through, the repressive Travis amendment which banned Gay marriages and said the amendment didn't prevent CUs failed by a small vote. Then a new compromise amendment that defines marriage as man-woman and also establishes CUs that are equivalent was on the table. At midnight there was no vote and since they can't continue after midnight they recessed - the next session is Mar 11.

There was some incredibly moving and eloquent testimony from many people - gay and straight - about why denying rights of any kind is bad. Various personal stories such as from Jarrett Barrios' (my Senator) who when he called the hospital for his sick recently adopted kid had to argue with a nurse to be seen because his partner Doug was listed as the father. (PS. Doug is Doug Hatteway who was Al Gore's chief spokesperson during much of the campaign and post election situation).

Paul Demakis, a nearby rep who I have supported, pointed out the folly of allowing the "people to vote". He said that there is tremendous age divide on the position that is reflective of the changes in attitudes and if this amendment gets into the constitution it will undoubtedly have to be reversed in a few short years to reflect public opinion and if it passes it would be an incredibly small majority which is a pretty poor way to inflict public policy on other people.

There are some really good thoughtful people in the legislature - it has been interesting exposure for me who is more of a local political junkee. I'm somewhat more hopeful than I was earlier today. But in three weeks lots can change.

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I'll add that while I agree that I was impressed by the substantial number of members of both houses who showed a firm grasp of the issue and were solidly on the right side, the number of legislators who did not speak is much larger than the number who did, and the votes on the several failed amendments have been uncomfortably close. It appears that there are a fair number of them who either believe or pretend to believe that it's their "duty" to give their constituents an opportunity to vote on the matter.

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