Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Courage to Not Allow a Vote

I have spent the last few days celebrating the defeat of the anti-gay amendment. On Friday I attended a same-sex wedding near my home town in central Massachusetts. It was beautiful to be reminded of what I have been fighting so hard to protect.

The 1,400 rights and benefits that come with marriage are indispensable, but that is not what this is about. It is about love. It is about advancing the homosexual agenda. (If you do not know what the homosexual agenda is, take a look here.)

While I celebrate the defeat of the amendment, I also mourn the loss of my job. I am lo
oking at my options to see where to go next. If anyone has any suggestions, please email me here.

I have been disappointed to see some in the "progressive" community attacking the actions of the legislature in killing the amendment. There have been many posts and hundreds of comments on Blue Mass Group accusing the 109 lawmakers that voted to recess of doing the wrong thing.

There are those who say that killing the anti-gay amendment also killed the health care amendment. This is simply wrong. The health care amendment was dead long before the legislature defeated the anti-gay amendment. It was killed on July 12th when the legislature voted to send it to a special committee for study. Did you really think they were going to "study" the amendment? The gays did not kill the health care amendment on November 9th, the legislature did on July 12th.

The other thing I have been hearing is that we should not have killed the amendment with a procedural maneuver. One post even states that we should put the amendment on the ballot and "take on the opposition and kill it in what would assuredly be a noisy and ugly campaign".

We did not have the votes to beat the amendment with an up or down vote. 109 lawmakers knew what they had to do to kill the amendment, and did it. They used a perfectly legal procedural move. That is politics! That is the beauty of having a free government. We have many different options.

Imagine they had let the amendment pass and it ended up on the ballot. Of course civil rights should never be put up for popular vote. However, I do believe that we would win and gay marriage would remain legal. There is part of me that would love to see the "let the people vote" crowd after the people vote to keep gay marriage legal. That would be a great feeling, but at what cost?

If the legislature had not killed the amendment, there would be an anti-gay media campaign like we have never seen here in Massachusetts. It would not be an anti-gay marriage campaign, it would an anti-gay campaign. We would see an all out attack on LGBT people.

Imagine that you are a 13 year old who is realizing that you are gay. You are scared to death
that someone will find out your secret. You are even more frightened of what your friends and family will say if they do find out about you.

Imagine sitting in your living room with your family watching TV while every commercial break brings anti-gay attack ads into your house. Your dad is driving you to school, listening to the radio while anti-gay rhetoric is spewing into the car. There are lawn signs and bumper stickers attacking gays and lesbians.

You come home from school and there is an anti-gay flier on the kitchen table with the rest of the mail. Someone knocks on the door and identifies herself as a canvasser from VoteOnMarriage. They present information to your parents as to why gays and lesbians do not deserve the right to marry. Anti-gay rhetoric is everywhere.

This is what we will see if we allow gay marriage on the ballot. This is what would have happened if the legislature had not killed the amendment.

Growing up gay can be hell. Gay teenagers commit suicide at a rate four times higher than their peers. Growing up gay during an all out anti-gay campaign would be deadly. If this war on gay marriage was allowed to continue there would certainly be casualties. Most of those casualties would be gay and lesbian teenagers.

The 109 legislators ended t
he war by voting to recess. They knew that they would take heat for their position. They knew that it would be unpopular. They also knew that it was the right thing to do. They are heroes are deserve our praise.


At 4:36 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

I completely agree with you. Civil rights should never be up for a popular vote. The Massachusetts legislature did a wonderful thing in protecting equality and democracy.

This issue has already become an attack on gays and lesbians and their families. If this were allowed to continue it would become even worse. Hatred has no place in Massachusetts and no place in the State House.

Anyone who thinks that the legislature ducked out of doing their job by voting for a procedural does not understand how Democracy or politics works.

At 5:09 PM, Anonymous Laurel said...

I say to any married heterosexual who thinks the amendment MUST be voted on directly at the ConCon or beyond: promise me that you'll divorce if the amendment is ultimately ratified by the electorate. Remember, this promise is as binding as the vote. Unless you are willing to make this promise in all earnestness, you have no standing in this arguement. It isn't so easy to when your own rights are on the chopping block, now it is?

At 8:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David at BMG just posted one of the most offensive "rhetorical points" I've seen in ages. His ego is completely and utterly out of control. What a jackass.

First, the amendment on the table won't require anyone to get divorced, and it won't nullify any existing marriages. But of course it would prohibit new same-sex marriages from occurring after its date of enactment. Luckily for me, I'm already married, so I don't have to promise not to enter into any future marriages -- I already made that promise.

At 12:58 AM, Anonymous Laurel said...

Yeah, I had posted a similar challenge there to the one above, and that's what he was responding to. He's a real gem, that David. And I'm afraid that he may represent many voters that we think we should be able to count on should an anti-gay amendment come to a popular vote. I hope I'm wrong on that. He acts like the standard issue Dem - promise the moon to the queers to get their support, then jetison their concerns at first sign on inconvenience. If it weren't for the amazing Dem (and some Repub!) legislators in the General Court, I'd have no faith at all.

At 1:18 AM, Blogger Chris Mason said...

I am really surprised at some of the comments on BMG. If they are supposed to be our allies I am a bit worried. The whining over there sounds a lot like Mitt Romney and the anti-gay radical right.

At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As noted over on Ryan's Take, David has become very buddy-buddy with Cynthia Stead, the Republican State Committee Woman for the Cape & Islands. She blogs under the nom-du-hate "Peter Porcupine."

Their public positions on gay marriage are virtually indistinguishable.


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