November 18, 2003

Wedding Bells

The highest court in Massachusetts ruled Tuesday it is unconstitutional for the state to deny marriage to gay and lesbian couples, a move that could make the state the first to legalize same-sex marriages. (via CNN)

UPDATED: More stories on this, with reactions: Cautious optimism, dismay greet gay marriage decision (via Boston.com)

"Marriage is an institution between a man and a woman," Romney said in a prepared statement. [...]

"We feel that today's radical decision ... must be reversed," said Gerry D'Avolio, executive director of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference, which speaks out on public policy issues for the Roman Catholic church in the state. "As devastating as the ruling is, it will not end the debate." [...]

"This has been a ticking time bomb in America for the last several months that has exploded in Massachusetts," [said Ray Flynn] [...]

Sen. John Kerry, a Democratic presidential contender, said, "while I continue to oppose gay marriage, I believe that today's decision calls on the Massachusetts state Legislature to take action to ensure equal protection for gay couples. These protections are long overdue."

Equal protection... wouldn't that mean equal access to marriage? That sounds like the most equal solution to me.

Posted by James at November 18, 2003 12:30 PM
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Great. Now I know what the topic of dinnertime conversation will be for Thanksgiving. :-P

Posted by: julie at November 18, 2003 1:27 PM

What's that? The "interesting" comments Ray Flynn had after the decision came down? (Sometimes I after hearing what people have to say I think I must have work up on the wrong planet and need to go back to bed and try again...)

Posted by: Jim Correia at November 18, 2003 1:43 PM

I'm going to take up some space here to post what I posted on Boston.com.
----------

I just read this posting:

"Marriage is for heterosexual couples. Couples who can copulate and propogate the species. It [the ruling] is an abomination."

What an incredibly rude thing to say. Sweeping generalizations are usually inaccurate, and this one is no exception. My husband and I do not want
children and we have every intention of not having any. Does this make our marriage less valid than someone else's?

And to all those invoking the name of god, well, not everyone believes in god, and those who do don't all subscribe to the same religion. Religion is a *personal* belief system, hence the need for the legal separation of church and state. My mother always said "mind your own business," and her wisdom applies here.

I'm pleased the SJC ruled in favor of basic rights here. Homosexual couples aren't asking for any more than heterosexual couples attain by default. If the word "black" or "Jew" were substituted for "homosexual" in the context
of this argument, there would be a firestorm, and rightfully so.

We've come a long way since the days of segregation based on the color of one's skin. There's more work to do, and this ruling is one more step in the right direction.

Dr. Martin Luther King said in his "I have a dream" speech, "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Let's judge others on the content of their character and not on what kind of sex they have.

Posted by: Patti M. at November 18, 2003 2:50 PM

The executive director of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference says the decision must be reversed, eh?

News flash: not everybody's Catholic.

And in case anyone's on the fence over whether to vote for Kerry or Dean, well, Kerry's wiggle words in the hopes of getting votes from both sides should be the tipping point. Take a stand, for pity's sake. Have some balls and stick your neck out one way or the other.

"While I continue to oppose gay marriage, I believe that today's decision calls on the Massachusetts state Legislature to take action to ensure equal protection for gay couples. These protections are long overdue."

Posted by: Patti M. at November 18, 2003 2:56 PM

Kerry is an idiot. I liked him so much better when he was only a potential candidate and I knew nothing about him. He looks so good on paper, but every time he opens his mouth, a big stinky puff of stupid wafts out.

Posted by: julie at November 18, 2003 3:51 PM

"...a big stinky puff of stupid wafts out."

I love it!

Posted by: Patti M. at November 18, 2003 3:59 PM

Well put, both of you.

We worked against Kerry after he voted for the War Powers Act (see here) but, even then as he was positioning himself to be (as he thought) more palatable to the swing voters I thought I'd still go for him in the primary.

But, no. It looks like I won't be voting for the Massachusetts candidate in the primaries. (Which reminds me - I wonder if I need to un-register as a Republican after voting for McCain in the last primary...)

Posted by: James at November 18, 2003 4:01 PM

Call your town hall or city elections clerk to find out. Good thing you remembered!

Posted by: Patti M. at November 18, 2003 4:29 PM

If you didn't fill out an unenroll card the last time you picked a party ballot in a primary you are most likley now a member of that party. You right wing nutcase you.

Posted by: Bob at November 18, 2003 5:11 PM

shudder

Now that you mention it, I probably did unenroll right away.

Why did I just break out in gooseflesh? A day of close calls!

Posted by: James at November 18, 2003 5:23 PM

I hate to say this, but in the interest of being honest, I have to say that Kerry's position is the de facto position of the top 6 Dem candidates. It's a dangerous issue arguing to the American public that gays deserve civil unions, but you say "marriage" and 2/3rds of the country goes ape shit about their religion. It's a caveat we have to make to get gay people to be treated fairly (this is America?!).

HOWEVER! Kerry still is pretty slimy and Howard Dean is the only person who has actually done anything substantial for gay and lesbian Americans on this issue.

Posted by: Bil at November 18, 2003 10:21 PM

Yeah, I know Kerry's just one of many tepid weasels. But he's unusually crass about it. He's gone on record saying that no one can get elected by being himself. That may be true, but if you're a candidate and you say that being phony is key, you're really asking for it!

I liked Bob Graham and I'm sorry he dropped out. But he can do more for Florida than he can do for us.

Posted by: julie at November 18, 2003 10:51 PM

You're right about the candidates. And this raises an important question that I don't have good answers for at the moment. It's going to prompt another blog post within the next couple of days, now that you have me thinking about it.

Posted by: James at November 18, 2003 10:51 PM

Too bad Graham is retiring... and to compound the evil, Katherine Harris is considering running for his Senate seat!

Posted by: Bil at November 19, 2003 1:01 AM

Graham is retiring??? I didn't know that. :( I thought he was going to keep his seat. :(

I don't think Katherine Harris should get her hopes up, though.

Posted by: julie at November 19, 2003 8:50 AM

For whatever it's worth, I'm becoming interested in Gen. Clark. He'll be on Letterman tomorrow night (Thursday). Will I remember to watch? Dunno.

Posted by: julie at November 19, 2003 9:02 AM

Unfortunately Clark seems to have no real ideas of his own. He doesn't seem to stand for anything but what others tell him. Unfortunately the choice may come down to who has the best chance to beat Bush. I'll take any of the democrat bozos to the king of all bozos currently in office.

AS for Dean I'm leaning his way but I'm not sure he's really any better than the rest of them he just flip flopped earlier than they did.

Posted by: Bob at November 19, 2003 9:16 AM

Well, we all know how I feel about Dean. He's got balls, and reminds me of, well, my entire family. We're blunt, intelligent people, and we like other blunt, intelligent people.

Now, if I were to put on my marketing cap, I'd call Dean "plain spoken," but that sounds too much like "the heartland" and all that other crap. (Tangent altert: Fuck the Heartland. I'm sick of hearing about what the Heartland likes and doesn't like. My friend Chris calls them "square staters.")

I know Bob thinks being blunt isn't necessarily the best attitude for someone running for office, but the Dems have tried everything else, so let's go with this approach. I think people are adult enough to make up their own minds. Witness the other candidates falling all over themselves over Dean's clumsily-worded reach-out to Southern voters. Gasp! He mentioned the Confederate flag? Yes, well, as the Weekly Dig said last week, we all knew what he said and only a complete moron could have misunderstood his intent. The newest edition has another good article: http://www.weeklydig.com/dig/content/5147.aspx

Say what you mean and stand by it. Have the courage of your convictions. Don't tell people what you think they want to hear just for the sake of saying it. If you're a phony, they'll walk away.

Of course, this doesn't explain the popularity of President I've-got-a-hand-up-my-ass-because-I'm-a-puppet.

Posted by: Patti M. at November 19, 2003 9:46 AM

Bob,

which issue are you saying Dean flip flopped on earlier than the others?

Posted by: Bil at November 19, 2003 10:44 AM

to be honest, I don't recall (gee now I sound like a certain republican). I read an article/editorial last summer sometime that looked at positions Dean took in the past and what he's saying now. There were a number of them. To be fair I haven't spent an enormous amount of time looking into any of the candidates. Since I'm voting in Mass it really doesn't matter much. Kerry will win in a landslide assuming he's still in it (which he will be because he has more money than anybody else). I may even vote republican and put in a protest vote against president dumbass.

Posted by: Bob at November 19, 2003 12:33 PM

I'm not sure Kerry can win here at all, never mind a landslide. If he's even still in the race by the time we get to vote.

Posted by: julie at November 19, 2003 1:02 PM

Yes, there are a few of issues that Dean has changed his position on over the years, but I personally see a difference between flip-flopping and evolving (ie changing position because a new poll is out vs realizing, in light of new evidence, that a position was wrong).

The Mass primary is March 2nd, which will likely be Kerry's last stand. It's possible he will drop out after losing New Hampshire and not gaining momentum in the February primaries. His money situation is not that good, actually. Dean outraised him among Mass donors last quarter, and Kerry's sinking campaign has kept people from opening their wallets for him. He'll probably raise $5 million to Clark's $12M and Dean's $15M this quarter, and he won't be receiving federal matching funds in January.

Posted by: Bil at November 19, 2003 1:25 PM

I'm almost afraid to endorse Dean, because no candidate I have ever endorsed in the primaries has won..

Posted by: James at November 19, 2003 1:40 PM

Don't delude yourself. Kerry will win Mass. easily. He is incredibly popular among his core constitutency, most of which don't read papers. He has plenty of money already so fundraising isn't really an issue (at least short term). I'm not saying I think he'll win the Dem nomination but I don't think anyone will spend much money in Mass when they know it probably won't help. Once again (as in 88 and 92) a vote in the democratic primary in Mass will be meaningless.

Posted by: Bob at November 19, 2003 2:53 PM

I don't know. I've seen lots of Dean signs on lawns, but no Kerry signs. One house had 4 Dean signs--think they're enthusiastic supporters?

Posted by: Patti M. at November 20, 2003 4:55 PM

enthustic supporters or no. Most of the lawns with no signs at all will go to Kerry. The person with 4 signs doesn't get 4 votes.

Posted by: Bob at November 21, 2003 11:05 AM

I don't know if you guys are still reading this far down the main page, but there are now 3 polls showing Kerry losing in the primaries to Dean. His support is real and growing, it's pretty amazing.

Posted by: Bil at November 24, 2003 1:57 AM

I get alerts for posts, so I saw your comment.

Interesting. Yes - Dean's support is real. Kerre was forced recently to retool his campaign. It remains to be seen whether it will make any difference at all.

It's certainly not a boring primary season.

Posted by: James at November 24, 2003 11:38 AM

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