Friday Forum

Friday Forum: Where Are We Getting Married Next?

It’s that time of the week, when Queerty takes a break from the opinion-making and puts you, the readers, in charge. Each Friday, we invite you to be the pundit on a hot-button question facing the LGBT community and its allies. As always, we expect people to be respectful and considerate of others by refraining from personal attacks. We present the information, you make the decision.

3416922489_97cc6b04e9Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa and Vermont. If you had told us a week and a day ago that the number of states that offered up gay marriage would double by this day, we would have scratched our heads, but now, it feels like not only is gay marriage an inevitability in this country, it’s going to come sooner rather than later. The question is, who’s next?

We covered the gay marriage horse race in the legislatures last week, but to recap the most likely candidates (including those that may win by court decision):

New Hampshire
Why they’re next: The House has already passed gay marriage legislation this session and the Senate has taken up the bill. The state is right next door to Vermont, so it may not want to be shown up.

Why they aren’t: They’re right next to Vermont, but are world’s apart, politically. Where Vermont is the wacky-progressive state, New Hampshire is the wacky libertarian one.

Why they’re next: There are over 50 co-sponsors for Maine’s marriage bill which will come up in the House this month.

Why they aren’t: The Maine Marriage Initiative is in full force trying to defeat the bill, inundating the Governor John Baldacci’s office with mail urging him to veto the bill if it comes to his desk.

Washington D.C.

Why they’re next: The D.C. City Council passed a measure recognizing out of state same-sex marriages this week. D.C. is a Democratic stronghold and a bill legalizing same-sex relationships will be introduced this month.

Why they aren’t: If the bill passes, because of D.C.’s status as a ward of the federal government, Congress must approve the measure. If this happens, Congressional Dems will be in a real pickle. How can you vote for gay marriage in D.C. and not support it nationwide?

Why they’re next: A bill passed in the Senate last month makes domestic partnerships in the state have the same rights as marriage.

Why they aren’t: While having the same rights as marriage is great, it’s not marriage.

New Jersey
Why they’re next: The state offers both civil unions and domestic partnerships and recognizes out-of-state gay marriages as civil unions. A commission formed as a result of the NJ Supreme Court Civil Unions case recommended that the legislature pass a gay marriage bill and Governor John Corzine says he would sign it.

Why they aren’t: No such bill has been introduced yet.

Why they’re next: Nevada is considering a domestic partnership bill that would give many of the rights of marriage. A recent blue state, Las Vegas’ economic boom has significantly altered the demographics of the state.

Why they aren’t: Domestic partnerships aren’t marriage, but a good first step towards it.

Why they’re next: The majority of Illinois citizens support some form of same-sex union, according to polls. Illinois has been shown up by Iowa, which locals tell us, is a motivator.

Why they aren’t: While there’s a Civil Unions bill kicking around, these same locals tell us there isn’t widespread support for it in the legislature.

Why they’re next: While most legal scholars (and Queerty editors) think teh California Supreme Court will rule to uphold Prop. 8, there’s the possibility that this week’s recent developments will give the justice’s pause. A motivated gay civil rights movement has formed and are considering putting up a ballot initiative as soon as 2010.

Why they aren’t: Like we said, the California Supreme Court is wary of overturning the will of the voters.

New York
Why they’re next: Gov. Patterson has said he will introduce a gay marriage bill this year and practically every Democrat in the state has come out in support of gay marriage. The influence of nearby New England is likely to factor in, as well.

Why they aren’t: Much of upstate New York is fairly conservative, but if anything Albany’s predilection for deadlock and filibustering keep the wheels of progress grinding slowly.

With that rundown in mind, we want to hear your take on which state will offer marriage equality to gays and lesbians next. Bonus points for creating sports odds. One of these states will be offering gay marriage. You tell us which.