Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Massachusetts Lawmakers Advance Gay Marriage Ban Proposal

Things have dramatically quieted down in the Seething Mom household, but news out of Massachusetts today has left me feeling zapped of all energy. Really, all I want to do right now is go to bed and cry myself to sleep. This has hit me like a ton of bricks.

I guess I got so hopeful after reading what Massachusetts governor-elect Deval Patrick had to say to legislators before the vote today that I let myself believe this bill would be squashed before it could even see the light of day:

I believe that adults should be free to choose whom they wish to love and to marry.


Above all, this is a question of conscience, Patrick, a Democrat, said in a statement. Using the initiative process to give a minority fewer freedoms than the majority, and to inject the state into fundamentally private affairs, is a dangerous precedent and an unworthy one for this commonwealth.

Obviously, the legislators weren’t as moved as I was by the sage words of the soon-to-be governor and they certainly don’t seem to have a problem with the civil rights of a minority being decided by mob rule. How sad. This was a situation that called for some courage and there just wasn’t enough of it to stop this from going any farther.

I know how devastated I feel about this, I cannot even imagine how this is affecting those who will be directly and indirectly impacted. I simply cannot understand how people could be so mean? It is beyond my comprehension. And make no mistake, this is just plain cruel to allow a majority to decide whether a minority is worthy of the same rights that said majority already has. And it is simply added salt in the wounds that this particular minority has already had a taste of how it feels to have the same rights as everyone else in the state. This is so wrong, so un-American, and so mean. It is mob-rule democracy at its ugliest.

I’m pretty speechless right now so I guess I’ll end this post with a round-up of others’ reactions:

From John at AMERICAblog:

The Massachusetts legislature took the first step today towards repealing the marriages of its gay citizens. Which leads one to ponder, what would the Massachusetts legislature do if racist legislation came before it? Pass it, I guess. Will Massachusetts become the next hate state?

From Shakespeare’s Sister:

I don't even know what kind of retrofuck jackhole piece-of-shit you've got to be to take away equal rights once they've been granted. I can't begin to imagine how one even considers such a heinous move, but then again I'm not a RAGING FUCKING ASSHOLE.

I also happen to agree that marriage is not a threat to marriage, and I have this terrible habit of actually believing that "all [people] are created equal" means something.


From Pam over at Pam’s House Blend:

This is why the civil rights of a minority should never be up for a vote.

From Andrew Sullivan:

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts did the right thing, it seems to me, in upholding the duty of the commonwealth's legislature to vote on a possible 2008 marriage amendment. (I await the howls about judicial activism from the theocon right.) Yes, there will be a huge surge of Christianist money into Massachusetts to keep gay couples stigmatized under the law. Yes, there will be another round of bitter and emotional debate. But advocates for marriage equality are far too defensive in fearing such a vote. We should be relishing it. So far, very few can argue that marriage equality in Massachusetts has been a failure. On the contrary, it has united many once divided families, it has strengthened many relationships, it has brought more stability to gay culture, it has given children more security, and it has opened hearts and minds. We have close to two years to use this evidence to persuade the people of Massachusetts that civil equality is something to be proud of. By the end of 2008, civil marriage may well be fully legal in California by legislative action - and de facto marriage in the form of civil unions available in several states. I doubt whether Massachusetts will forgo the honor of being the first state to grant gay couples legal equality with their straight peers. But there's one way to find out. Let's debate and campaign. The national gay groups, whose record on marriage has been spotty at best, need to make this the first priority of the national movement. Winning a democratic vote on marriage is a huge opportunity - and well within our grasp. We have the arguments. We have the evidence. Now let's have the vote.

From Kris Mineau of the Massachusetts Family Institute:

"This is democracy in action. It's not a vengeance campaign. It's not a hate campaign. It's just an opportunity for the people to vote." Share

No comments: