Frank Bruni Ignores Washington's R-71 Victory

Frank Bruni failed to mention R-71.
In his Sunday New York Times "Week in Review" column , Frank Bruni used Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi's Oprah appearance to underscore America's seemingly conflicted views towards gay marriage. As Bruni pointed out, the show, which included footage from the pair's wedding video, aired less than a week after Maine voters rejected same-sex marriage.

It's hard to argue with Bruni's main point. Even though recent polls suggest a majority of Americans support it, same-sex marriage is now zero-for-31 when put to a yes-no vote. But as Washingtonians now well know, that discouraging scorecard comes with a very significant asterisk.

Prepare to feel old: This happened 12 years ago.
Referendum 71 may have been accurately dubbed the "everything but marriage law." But thanks to its passage in the eyes of the state gay and lesbian couples are now treated equally, even if they're still referred to by the sexless title of "domestic partners."

Is Bruni ignoring Washington's incrementalism just to strengthen his point? Or does it not count unless the "m" word is involved?

It's hard to say. Bruni spends the rest of the column wondering whether the country accepted Degeneres's homosexuality because she's funny, was blunt about outing herself on the cover of Time magazine, or because, as a lesbian, viewers of her talk show don't have to think about her having anal sex, as they would a gay man.

What is clear is that Bruni is right: America remains, and probably will remain for a long time, bipolar on the issue of gay marriage. It just would have been nice had he at least recognized the recent gains made by Washington, one of the few states regularly taking its meds.

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