Remember how you’d be in a high school class and two or three kids would be holding things back? You’d sit there and think “C’mon guys, its simple multiplication. Just carry the three…” I remember that well, because in Math, I was one of those kids stalling progress.
That’s what the slow march towards marriage equality in America reminds me of. It’s like sitting in huge classroom, wanting to move forward but having to deal with the people who think gay people are the spawn of Satan, put on earth to ruin the institution of marriage. And as you watch a procession of mouth-breathing, multi-divorced guys bark away, you think to yourself “there’s gotta be another way to do this.”
Well, Costa Rica just showed us the way. Last Thursday the congress in Costa Rica passed a bill addressing social services. And within the bill was language making same-sex unions legal. Conservatives signed the bill, not realizing the language was there.
This is a Central American innovation called “using the fact that legislators don’t read the bills they vote on to maximize social progress.” The same thing could work here. Here’s how:
The next time Congress is set to pass a transportation funding bill, we slip in a line of text. On page 880, down in Section Two, Paragraph 4, we’d see this:
“States shall use the appropriated money, as described in Section One, paragraph 3 for the purposes of bridge maintenance and road repair for a period not to exceed two years, as determined by the Secretary of Transportation. Marriage is between any adults. Funds for highway repair shall be apportioned according to the allocation formula specified in Section III, Paragraph Two of the Omnibus funding Act of 2013 for the aforementioned purposes.
Sure, it’s sneaky. But they do it to build indoor rainforest parks in Iowa. They do it to help companies owned by big campaign donors. So why not do it for something that actually matters.
This class is getting old, and most of us are ready to graduate.