Friday, June 15, 2007

“A glorious victory”

By a vote of 151-45, Massachusetts legislators rejected a proposal to put an amendment to the state’s constitution on the November 2008 ballot. The amendment would have outlawed same-sex marriage in that state, the only US state where it’s legal.

In 2004, a
Massachusetts court ordered legalised same-sex marriage, and religious opponents have been trying ever since to outlaw it. This defeat was far closer than it should have been (they needed only 50 votes to progress the amendment), but it means it’s increasingly improbable that the hatemongers will be able to peddle the amendment again. Increasing majorities of voters back the law as it is, seeing that after three years and some 8500 same-sex marriages, neither the world nor the state has ended.

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (who supported gay rights and abortion rights until he decided to run for president and then changed his positions to court far-right christianist Republican voters), said that it was a “regrettable setback” and said there needed to be an amendment to the US Constitution to enshrine hate (in this case, to ban same-sex marriage nationwide, even through that’s strictly a state matter). Add it to the long list of reasons why this opportunistic creep should never be president.

The reason opponents keep pushing for a vote, as I noted back in January when a public vote seemed more probable, is this:

They only want a “vote” because they’re sure they can lie, manipulate and cheat their way to victory. Again.

And commenting on a possible ballot measure in
Massachusetts, I added:

No state has yet rejected such a constitutional amendment, though in 2006 Arizona voters rejected a narrower ballot measure. Considering the unlimited millions of dollars that the far right has to throw at Massachusetts, along with their proven campaigns sowing hate and fear, it’s by no means certain that marriage justice will survive in Massachusetts. Ending the only legal same-sex marriage in the US would have to be at the top of their agenda.

That hasn’t changed and the far right will continue to push this issue using whatever means they can in order to promote their agenda, raise money and elect candidates. Sadly, it will be years before victory is complete.

Still, in a post titled “A glorious victory,” David wrote at the Blue Mass Group, “We have a system; the system worked.” Indeed it did. Three cheers for the sensible people of
Massachusetts who have helped repel the forces of hate and intolerance. Let’s just pause and savour this rare victory.


d said...

Ironically, I posted on my blog today about gay rights after a friend forwarded a letter about the upcoming Pride celebration in Maryland.

When the gay marriage debate last made national news in the US, John Stewart of the Daily Show interviewed some right-wing asshole, and my favorite quote at the end of the interview was this (also posted on my blog):

Guest: "It's a debate about whether you think marriage is between a man and a woman."

John S: " I disagree. It's a debate about whether you think gay people are part of the human condition or just a random fetish."

So many countries in Europe and other parts of the world have provisions for gay marriage or gay unions, and yet the US - a theoretically civilized and "free" society - continues to make a legal right a religious argument. So much for that separation, aye?

Jason in DC said...

Are you trying to suggest that Mitt Romney is changing his position purely for political reasons?

Bill Clinton was called Slick Willie because of the changes in his positions. I wonder what nick name should be used to describe Mr. Romney.

Arthur Schenck said...

D: The whole thing is weird, isn't it? There's no reason for America to be so obsessed with opposing same-sex marriage. I think a lot of it has to do with wedge politics and the politics of distraction--to keep voters from noticing what politicians are doing to the country.

But I've also long said that there's no more Republican issue than gay rights--including marriage--because it's all about individual freedom and minimising state interference in people's private lives. Unfortunately, the Republican Party and it's traditional ideals is being held hostage by religious fanatics bent on theocracy, not democracy or freedom. And that, to me, is the real tragedy--that they've abandoned traditional American values in favour of a distinctly fascist ideology, something that plays out in so many ways, opposition to gay people being only one.

Here's a direct link to D's post.

Jason: Well, there are a few things I can think of to call Mitt, but most of them aren't suitable for polite company.

Anonymous said...

Arthur - Enjoyed the show a great deal and appreciate your global viewpoint. Thank god there are people all over the world talking about the catastrophe that Bush is. Bush wouldn't know what the Magna Carta was unless there was a picture and someone explained it to him. He is such a horror.