Wednesday, April 12, 2006

State House: High Pitched SSM Whine

We were not in town for yesterday's hearing on the anti-SSM amendment. So, we were hoping for some insightful coverage in the local media. Lackaday.

Either everything that can be said has or the reporters wrote the pieces without going. Supposedly the legislators spoke first; no visible coverage. Check the wee tales in the Herald here and the Globe here. What we saw on the broadcast Websites was derivative of these.

On TV, the news was all-Sox all the time (except for the occasional sensationalism about the Entwistle murders).

Context: The anti-SSM amendment process has gotten to this Judiciary Committee hearing. The Committee will report it out favorably or unfavorably. It will then go to the May 10th Constitutional Convention, a joint session of the General Court. If a quarter of the GC (50 legislators in any combo) votes in favor, it festers for a year. If they don't, the Dark Side loses and tries another trick, or waits three years, and pulls this one again if they can get the tired-voter's signatures. If it passes this time, it must do the same next year on a motion with identical wording to go for a general election in 2008 to write discrimination into the commonwealth constitution for the first time ever. (Not as though we have any bias on the issue.)

The anti side pulled out the same unsupportable Chicken Little claims. "Gay marriage is simply the first volley in a longer-term war when it comes to making anything goes when it comes to sexuality," said one. Others made that bizarre assertion that the stable positive 7,000-plus SS couples have somehow lessened their own marriages. Huh?

Of course, ordinary, loving SS couples testified that they had civil rights and feelings too.

The famous peripatetic governor sent a note to the assembled masses -- "Every child has the right to expect a mother and a father, and it would be deeply misguided to become indifferent to what constitutes marriage." Double huh? Of course, he has no stake in the outcome and put out only what he thinks will help satisfy his POTUS envy.

The only wrinkle we've noticed was from the director of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. Robert L. Beal said, "I believe that if the Legislature does not vote the amendment down, our state will be subjected to an ugly protracted fight that will adversely affect the civic and business environment." Sounds right and a splash of New England pragmatism in an otherwise emotional debate is oddly refreshing.

I hope that by tomorrow MassResistance Watch and Bay Windows will give us some coverage and analysis.

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