Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Gay Marriage Debate - Part 2,994


First, this little brouhaha.

Protesters gather outside State House

About 300 demonstrators are staging a noisy protest outside the State House, where lawmakers are scheduled to vote early this afternoon on whether to put a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on the 2008 ballot.


Those supporting the ban said they were livid to read this morning that House Speaker Sal DiMasi may try to adjourn the constitutional convention without a vote on the ballot question. Gathered on the Boston Common side of the street, they are singing songs like "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and shouting, "Let the people vote!" One man is holding massive helium balloon that said "Jesus is Lord."

"It's subverting the will of the people," said Bob McDonald, a community college professor from Danvers, of the possibility of adjournment.

And, this comes as a shock to you, Bob?

You're not from around here, are you.

Those opposing the ban are just as loud, hollering "This is what equality looks like!" and singing "This Little Light of Mine."

Sorry, kids, I beg to differ. And, that's a pretty weak grasp on the concept of equality you've got there. The word "equality" carries no weight, unless all people are treated equally under the law. "Equality for your side only" simply doesn't cut America, anyway.

The day Massachusetts liberals extend to the poor, inner-city residents of Boston, the same right to keep and bear arms as their wealthy, politically-connected counterparts, perhaps I'll lend some credence to their cries of inequality and oppression.

The day Massachusetts liberals recognize that the people of Massachusetts have the same God-given right to self defense as the people of New Hampshire and Vermont, I'll show up at their next rally hold a sign, and even sing along.

Until then, give me a fucking break with all these hollow, tear-jerking pleas for "equality", for you do not know the true meaning of the word.

"We feel everyone should have the same chance that we had two years ago when we were able to get married," said McMahon.

So, you'd agree then that the people of Massachusetts should have the same chance to provide for the safety of their families, if they CHOOSE to do so, as the people of New Hampshire and elsewhere have?

Yeah, didn't think so.

Come back when you're able to make a cogent and consistent argument.

Hodgdon dismissed the other side's argument that the electorate should weigh in on the right to marry.

But, the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense, according to the left, is something that can, and should, be done away with by any means necessary - legislation, consumer protection regulation, or arbitrary restrictions imposed by non-elected officials. After all, the Constitution's pretty vague and flexible on the issue, especially when compared to its affirmation of the right to marry or have an abortion.

Like it or not, marriage is a man-made construct. As such, it is subject to be regulated and controlled by the government elected by the people. And, if that regulatory process provides for a citizen's ballot initiative, then so fucking be it. The very fact that no one can get married in this state without paying first for a license (aka: governmental permission) should have set off the little cluebells in your heads.

The right and the ability to defend one's family from harm, on the other hand, is something that can only be taken away by the most ruthless, totalitarian rulers, possessing little regard for the lives of the people they govern, and even less respect for their individual freedoms.

Then again, welcome to Massachusetts.

Gretchen Grimshaw, 47, an assistant rector at St. John's Episcopal Church in Jamaica Plain, agreed.

"I don't believe we should vote on civil rights," she said.

So, Gretchen, no more gun control then? And, we can repeal all the laws on the books in Massachusetts that have made it impossible for the poor and downtrodden [read: oppressed people of color] to legally bear arms in their defense?

Yeah...didn't think so.

Come back to the discussion when you've learned the real meaning of "liberty", "freedom" and "individual rights".

Here's one more, from the always-entertaining Letters to the Editor section of the Boston Globe.

Marriage equality must not be a popularity contest

November 9, 2006

TODAY THE Constitutional Convention will once again take up the issue of marriage equality. We are sure to see "Let the people vote" signs lining the streets of Beacon Hill. It's such a compelling and simple phrase. But it is wrong.

Never mind, that it's the law. Laws don't apply to Massachusetts liberals. They're special. Just ask Sal DiMasi.

Think of a civil right you care about...


...such as the right to vote, to own a home, to send a child to public school.

Nice list you came up with, a tad lacking, though, for my taste.

First, you can take the imaginary "right to own a home" off the list. Does the name "Kelo" ring a bell?

And, sending your kid to public school is not a "right". It's actually the law here in Massachusetts, and, as is the case with gun control, it's more often the poor who most negatively impacted [vouchers, anyone?]. If the government enacts a law compelling you to act a certain way, that is certainly not what a clear-thinking person would describe as a "right".

What if an initiative proposed limiting voting rights only to people who had graduated from college?

What if a law were passed that allowed the police to violate the Constitutional rights of the people over something as petty as a lost rental video from Blockbuster.

Oh, wait. That's not a "what if". That's reality.

What if an initiative proposed restricting homeownership only to people who were born in the United States?

What if the Attorney General were to enact some horseshit regulations that prevented the poor and elderly from exercising their Constitutional rights?

Again, there's that son of a bitch, Reality, entering the mix.

What if an initiative proposed that public school access be available only to children of homeowners, not renters?

What if a law was passed that allowed the children of Hall of Fame ballplayers to own guns, but not their next door neighbors.

Reality check, aisle five!

Would it be right to "let the people vote" on these issues? Of course not.

The gun owners of Massachusetts look forward to your support during the next legislative session as they try to right some of these grave injustices.

Perhaps you can imagine how I feel as a lesbian facing the threat of having my civil marriage rights put before the people for a popular vote. Frankly, I am terrified.

Frankly, I don't think you know what you're talking about, where "freedom" and "equal rights" are concerned.

I urge lawmakers not to be taken in by this dangerous phrase.

Yeah, phrases like "spray-firing bullet hoses", "racist, redneck gun nuts", "mowing down innocent bystanders" are so much safer for human consumption, huh?

Let the people vote for elected officials, or whether to sell wine in grocery stores. But please don't let them put my constitutionally protected civil rights, or anyone else's, on the ballot in our Commonwealth.

So, basically, you're worried that the rights of a minority might be trampled on by an over-zealous majority, driven by a political agenda?

Welcome to the world of the Massachusetts gun owner.

Now, maybe, the argument here is that only elected politicians can violate the rights of the people, and that the citizens, acting through the ballot initiative process, in strict accordance with state law, cannot.

I don't care how many rose petals you stir into that bucket of shit, at the end of the day it's still gonna smell like a bucket of shit.


The writer was lead plaintiff in Schulman v. Reilly, a lawsuit filed by GLAD in January challenging Attorney General Thomas Reilly's certification of the ballot question seeking to reverse Goodridge v. Department of Public Health.

Note: this was one of those rare occasions when Tom Reilly actually adhered strictly to the laws of the Commonwealth, the same laws that conveniently don't apply to liberal Democrats in Massachusetts.

Ick...I just typed Tom Reilly's name. Aaaaghhh, I did it again! I thought I was done with that asshole. If you'll excuse me now, I need to crack open another Harpoon to get the bad taste out of my mouth.