The initial raised eyebrows seem to be becoming upturned mouths, as locals look at the out-of-the-blue proposal by Massachusetts Rep. Phil Travis. The old gay-baiter/hater joined VoteOnMarriage.org in announcing he'd file a bill to offer a few domestic-partner benefits to couples who could not marry.
The Herald-affiliated Daily New Transcript followed up with quotes from a key player. The Benefits Fairness Act as proposed "doesn't pass the laugh test," according to Arline Isaacson, co-chairman of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus.
We agree and posted as much.
Isaacon elaborated, "They're suggesting that they want us to lose the (hundreds of) legal protections we get with a marriage license and replace that with a dozen they're willing to give us." By her reckoning Massachusetts same-sex marriage provide up to 450 legal rights; heterosexual marriage has a combined commonwealth and federal count of around 1,400.
Travis' bill would include a small subset of 12 rights, such as hospital visitation. To us, this still has all the markings of a setup, to aid in the pending arguments for the odious anti-same-sex-marriage ballot initiative the will come before the new session of the General Court.