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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Let the people vote?

We're fast approaching another scheduled vote of the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention on whether to take away the right of gay couples to marry. The bluster is starting to reach a fever pitch and who knows, we may even see our erstwhile former governor pop into town to try and score some political points.

So let's take yet another look at some of the arguments and tactics being used by gay marriage opponents as they work to build a divisive plank for a 2008 election season where virtually every other conservative position has been repudiated.
  • Marriage is supposed to be between a man and a woman because homosexuality is unnatural.
We'll skim right over the fact polygamy exists in many cultures and religions and head to recent scientific research that homosexuality appears to have genetic roots. And as for the argument that marriage exists to create children, I think the sharks may have other thoughts on the matter.

Anyone suggesting straight marriage is the only acceptable form of marriage and procreation is speaking through a very biased filter, seeking to impose their own world view and ignoring evidence to the contrary. This debate is far from over -- and in any event, government has no business legislating a narrow view of morality.
  • People have a right to be heard and have their vote counted.
And people -- about 170,000 of Massachusetts' 4.1 million registered voters are being heard. Over and over and over again.

Supporters of this ballot initiative are having a hard time holding 25 percent of the 200-member Massachusetts Legislature to cast a second vote on this initiative that's been put on the ballot by an even smaller number of voters -- many of whom signed petitions placed in front of them by people earning cash for each signature.

And since when is voting on taking away someone's right appropriate? If this question succeeds, what is to stop agenda-driven zealots from putting a question on the ballot to legalize slavery? Or take away a woman's right to vote?
  • Improper promises are being made to encourage voter switching.
Coming from a group that paid to collect signatures, this one is hilarious. Supporters of the ban failed to capitalize on the biggest political asset they had -- a sitting governor running for president who made the issue a centerpiece in his effort to woo conservatives.

Kris Mineau sounds an awful lot like Joe McCarthy when he declares "I have unequivocal corroboration that the Legislature has never seen pressure like this applied. " Where's the proof?

And, um, er, does this mean conservatives wouldn't stoop to the tactic? Or that they just don't have the goodies to hand out?

Massachusetts has a lot of serious problems -- high costs, inequitable tax structure, a failing infrastructure and an education system in need of repair to name just a few. The Commonwealth has not fallen into perdition as a result of allowing gay couple to marry.

Wasting time, energy and effort on an issue that now attracts a small minority of religious conservatives is not productive. It's time to move on and tackle the real problems facing the Commonwealth, problems left to fester by Mitt Romney and his band of zealots.

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