Two Roman Catholic Massachusetts legislators, both women, explain how they voted for same-sex marriage and kept their seats in heavily Catholic districts. Rep. Marie St. Fleur and Sen. Marian Walsh addressed yesterday's Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry. The group honored the two at its annual awards luncheon.
St. Fleur said she got a lot of nasty calls and spoke with many angry voters in her parish. Walsh found that her marriage stance became the largest campaign issue used against her in last year's elections. She skunked her opponent, apparently because of her solid record of achievement across many constituent issues.
The heavily populated eastern Massachusetts is over half RC (53.21% according to the church). Walsh in West Roxbury and St. Fleur in Dorchester are in even more heavily RC sections. Both women have supported the church's positions in numerous personal and legislative issues, but they differ with Archbishop Sean O'Malley on this one.
The Coalition reports 600 congregations and clergy as members. Its awards to the legislators cited "outstanding leadership in upholding the religious freedom of every citizen in the Commonwealth by suuporting marriage equality as a civil right."