Thursday, July 18, 2002
Gay Marriage Ban Defeat in Massachusetts
The Boston Globe reports here that the Massachusetts legislature (aka "those crooks on Beacon Hill"), acting in its capacity as constitutional convention, defeated an anti-gay-rights proposal.
The proponents of the ban had some 130,000 signatures for a proposed amendment to the Massachusetts constitution that would ban gay marriages: A kind of "Defense of Marriage Amendment" for their constitution. The proposal only needed 25% support in the constitutional convention to be put on the ballot for voter consideration. Instead, though, a vote to adjourn the convention, which only needed a simple majority to pass, carried 137-53 (72.1%).
The good news is that there was almost a sufficient supermajority to block the proposed amendment from consideration if it had come to a vote; the bad news is the bad will that comes from using procedural moves to prevent the amendment from even coming to a vote.
Yeah, yeah. It's Massachusetts, and the proponents of the amendment would've likely used every procedural tool in their arsenal to push for the measure. It's not the kind of thing that's formally wrong in any kind of political sense.
Still, we need to get to the point where fewer than 130,000 people in an ostensibly liberal state like Massachusetts sees gay marriage as a threat. That's not going to be accomplished by political maneuvering or by the machinations of the various gay-rights organizations.
It's going to be accomplished by person-to-person education; i.e., more and more gay people coming out of the closet and making sure that the straight people among their families, their friends, and their co-workers open their eyes and see that we gay people have the very same right to live as couples -- with all the legal perks and privileges -- as straight people do.
Aside to the Florida legislature. Uh, yeah, that includes adopting kids, too.