Massachusetts came in behind five other states in national rankings of same-sex and reproductive rights for liberality.
We should have predicted it. For decades, we've smiled at the in joke of being Taxachusetts. Combining income, property and sales taxes, we were never at the top anyway, but it was kind of like being accused of being rich. We took it was a grin. After all, there was a literary elegance in the term that Taxas or Taxabama lacks.
Key details of the new research are on the site of the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce. You can also drill down to any state's ranking, stats and facts at MappingOurRights.org.
This cliché-busting opus makes sense, once you get past the same-sex-marriage gorilla. The Boston Herald quotes what is likely to be a typical conservative reaction. Republican State Senator Bob Hedlund told them, "I find that hard to swallow. We're the only state that has legalized gay marriage. so I don't know how the hell that doesn't make us the most liberal."
The "how the hell," Bobbykins, is that reality is not obsessed with a single issue. The research covered over 20 indicators. The Taskforce cited:
- Public funding for family planning and abortion
- Whether health-care providers can deny medical services because of their beliefs
- Whether same-sex couples can adopt
- The use of abstinence-only curricula in schools
- Whether states have anti-discrimination clauses that explicitly protect gays
For our provincial concerns, we should know that we came in as less sexuality and gender liberal than:
- New Mexico (tie)
- New York (tie)
- New Jersey
The Taskforce notes that N.Y. and N.M. "earned top honors because each had many laws that promote, not restrict, reproductive and sexual rights. South Dakota's last-pace finish was influenced by the state Legislature's approval of an abortion ban earlier this year."
Here, we still fret and fume about whether public schools can mention condoms or lesbians.
Our allegedly liberal commonwealth got dings in multiple areas.
Massachusetts received 100 penalty points on the following filters:
- Mandatory parental involvement in minors’ abortions
- Prohibition of state-funded insurance coverage of abortion
- Medicaid coverage of family planning services
- “Conscience” or refusal clauses
- Fetal homicide laws
- Enjoined: Mandatory waiting period before abortion
- Enjoined: TRAP (targeted regulation of abortion providers) laws
- Enjoined: DOMA (Defense of Marriage Acts) and similar constitutional amendments
- Enjoined: Legal status of midwifery
Tags: massmarrier, Massachusetts, same sex marriage, reproductive rights, , NGLTF, , SisterSong