Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Long Road to Overnight Victory, Part I

My cartoon for this week is included in an LGBT cartoonist round-up over at Fusion -- you can check it and seven others out now, or wait for me to post it tomorrow.

Looking at the other cartoonists' submissions, I wish that I had found something more personal to say. I can blame a combination of a hectic schedule and some unpleasant prepping for a medical procedure (it turns out I'm healthy); but the fact is, I've been drawing about marriage equality for so long, I don't know how much more I could possibly find to say about it.

I've drawn so many cartoons about it, in fact, that I wasn't able to winnow them down to fit in a single blog entry.

I wasn't drawing cartoons in 1972 when Baker v. Nelson came before the Minnesota Supreme Court; but in 1996, I was drawing cartoons for InStep, one of  two LGBT newspapers in Milwaukee, when a circuit court judge in Hawai'i ruled that state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

Judge Kevin S.C. Chang's ruling in Baehr. v. Miike would be overturned by Hawai'i voters, but not before giving LGBT marriage advocates hope, and antigay activists a fund-raising and vote-getting bonanza. Legislators in Hawai'i and just about every other state, as well as the U.S. Congress, rushed to define "marriage" as a special rite that could only be entered into by one man and one woman.

Very well, replied some LGBT activists and liberal allies. If we can't get "married," how about if we call it something else?

Fine. We're in a "committed relationship." We've even had a "commitment ceremony." But what do I call you? My "committee"?

Another term to come down the pike was "domestic partnership"; one could at least refer to the other as "partner." Like dancers, law firms, and bridge players have.

As if there weren't already enough euphemisms for "marriage lite," I had to offer one of my own:

We'll continue this retrospective on marriage equality on Stepback Saturday, starting with "Evolution of the Democrats."

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