The full Idaho Senate will vote on HJR2 this morning. The measure would not only ban same-sex marriage (which is already illegal) in Idaho; it also would prohibit civil unions or domestic partnerships for gay or lesbian couples.
The measure is expected to fail to get the two-thirds approval it needs, but just in case, you can still send a "Just Vote No" email to key state senators. They include John Andreason of Boise and John Goedde and Richard Compton of Coeur d'Alene - three Republicans who voted no last year and have been under intense pressure from Christian fundamentalists to change their minds this time. Do it now. The vote is expected about 11 a.m.
UPDATE 2 p.m.: Bad news. Five Republicans who voted against a constitutional marriage amendment in 2005 switched sides and OK'd the measure this morning, so the matter will now go on the November ballot.
Or maybe it's not such bad news. To become part of the constitution, HJR2 will need to be passed by
two-thirds of Idaho voters. Had the Senate defeated this, the
Christian Taliban would have instead pushed for a non-binding,
senseless advisory vote declaring marriage to be only between a man and
a woman - and it would've only required 50.1% to pass. I
seriously doubt HJR2 can get 66% of Idahoans' support. We can beat this
in November, and fending off a simple 50.1% majority on the non-binding vote
would have been much harder, especially since Bryan and Brandi and their pals will be yammering on this issue for the next eight-and-a-half months. (Gee, what fun that's gonna be.) So maybe we're better off. What do you think - other than the fact we need some butt-kicking Dems to run against the Rethuglicans this fall?
UPDATE 4:30: Randy Stapilus, who knows the Idaho Constitution a lot better than I ever will, has written to correct the idea that a constitutional amendment requires a supermajority to pass. It takes only a simple majority.
I still think we can beat it. Idahoans respect human rights, and we don't like the government telling us what to do. But what a sad, sorry diversion this issue continues to be. Randy has more to say on the subject.