Reading: Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality

Well – reading means currently doing so but I’ve finished the book. All in all a nice view inside the goings on of both the Prop 8 and DOMA cases. 

Now I’ve seen numerous complaints around the web from those who say the book overlooked all the people who’ve fought for full equality. That may be so but the book only focused on the two cases, not the general movement.

In fact the book is highly relevant to me – as I had been about to embark on a case of my own against the State of Rhode Island before the legislature deigned to grant equality here. An attorney from GLAD in Boston had a conference call with me and my cousin Tom who was then training to become an attorney himself.

Some of the things she said remind me of the attitudes of the HRC and others – that the slow steady trod is what will pay off. For example, the woman said that the Rhode Island Judiciary was HOSTILE to the cause of marriage equality. This struck me as odd since in the Ormiston v. Chambers case the judge actually advised the women that they should have filed as an Article 1 Section 2 offense and she would have had to grant the divorce they sought.

I had actually warned legislators that their failure to act would result in embarrassment for the state. The reason I did that is because the only real obstacle to marriage equality in Rhode Island was the Family Law Act of 1967. I was ready to directly challenge the law. That would have put the kibosh on the act resulting in all sorts of grief but would have gained equality at long last. I think that’s what scared GLAD to the point they had to convince me not to file the suit. 

But the book – it shows what happens when a disruptive change takes place, but more to the point that organizations such as the HRC and others had to adapt to this new paradigm. In fact in the U.S. right now there are several suits in a whole bunch of southern states bubbling through the justice system. And the U.S. Supreme Court will once again have to revisit this case and employ a 50 state solution. 


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