"That Hurts Me"
As a group of us protested at the entrance to the House chamber at the Capitol this morning, our banner read, "MARGARET! MOVE MARRIAGE EQUALITY HEARING, FEB 12." Soon, the Speaker of the House appeared in front of us, saying that she would talk to Rep. Joe Mullery about getting a hearing but that she doesn't have the power to "fire people," just persuade them. She tried to leave us with the impression that she had no power and that Mullery can do whatever he wants. I said, "Margaret, you appointed him." She said that, "Well, he was a very senior legislator." I said, "Why didn't you appoint him the Public Safety Committee?" She said that that was complicated.
The Civil Justice Committee and the Public Safety Committee were a combined committee, chaired by Mullery until December 2008. Then, the Speaker of the House who has the power to configure committees, split the committee in time for the new biennium. When I first saw this happening, I was very excited because I thought the Speaker of House was paving the way for marriage equality legislation. But, instead of appointing a liberal to head the Civil Justice Committee, the committee that all gay rights legislation would have to go through, she appointed a red neck. When I called her out on this, her only response was to get personal, holding her finger up to me and saying, "That hurts me." Without letting me respond, she fled up the stairs.
Like my Mom always said, "The truth hurts."