Thursday, July 20, 2006

Don't Buy Used Anti-SSM Slogans

Perhaps it's enough that anything ex-Boston mayor and ex-liberal Ray Flynn supports is wrong. He's all for a plebiscite on the anti-same-sex-marriage amendment. The former pro-civil-rights guy thinks it's just fine for the majority to decide the freedoms of a minority, so long as that minority is homosexual.

As Bay Windows notes, even the local dailies seem to have bought into the let-the-people-vote scam. This week's lead editorial waves the soiled sheets of the anti-SSM amendment campaign and points out the hypocrisy of the VoteonMarriage folk screaming about the ConCon delay.

We too have many posts against stripping existing rights from our citizens and trying to write discrimination into our commonwealth's constitution for the first time ever. Here is an example.

BW also asks where the outrage or even whining is over sending the health-care amendment to study, which usually means death:
So where'’s the outcry about thwarting democracy on the healthcare issue? Good question. For some reason the right of healthcare advocates to have a fair hearing in the Legislature isn'’t as compelling for much of the press as the right of homophobes to vote on taking away the civil rights of their gay neighbors.
Now, there's something people should vote on.

Read the whole piece, so that you're ready when some bozo like Flynn tries a let-the-people-vote ploy when he means something much more malicious. As BW writes:
The bottom line is that when you start with the presumption that the majority should get to decide whether their fellow citizens make good neighbors and give that opinion the force of law, you'’ve allowed concerns about the rights of the people to get swallowed up in a wonkish and hollow fealty to process.


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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You write, concerning the health care amendment, "Now, there's something people should vote on."

I agree with this sentiment in principle, but my more immediate complaint is that this is something the legislature is constitutionally required to vote on due to article 48.

This puts me in an awkward position. I stand in favor of same sex marriage, and believe that the proposed amendment is an affront to the good residents of massachusetts. However, it is unfortunately true that enough people disagree with me to have petitioned this amendment successfully to the legislature for a vote. I cannot in good conscience complain that my rights as a citizen have been violated by the legislature's tabling of the health care amendment while at the same time pushing for them to do the same to the bigotry amendment. The reason our state laws mandate that our legislators vote on all amendments is to prevent leadership from gaining too much power over the general court and only allowing measures they like to go forward. What if the situation were reversed? If we as citizens had successfully petitioned for a con. amendment forever protecting SSM and it was destroyed by a parliamentary tactic, we would be up in arms that our right to petition had been effectively negated.

I vehemently oppose this amendment. I didn't sign the petition, and I have actively encouraged those who are opposed to same sex marriage to change their ways. Nonetheless, we have an initiative petition procedure for a reason, and the death of the HC amendment showcases the importance of sticking to the procedure.

I don't believe citizens have a right to vote themselves on every initiative petition. I do, however believe certified initiative petitions must be voted on in the legislature. Instead of focusing our efforts on preventing a vote, we should be focused on winning the vote, which, despite what the backers of this grotesque amendment say, is a very real possibility. Even if it were to pass the first time, MassEquality is a powerful enough organization to take the roll call, asses the situation, and gain the necessary votes.

I realize that this is not the most prevailing sentiment on this site, but it is what I believe, and I am not afraid to say it. We cannot allow the legislature to simply disregard its constitutional responsibilities as it so often has in the past. Otherwise, it will be not only amendments we dislike, but any amendment that displeases the leadership. We won't always be in agreement with them, and thus we cannot afford to give them this power.

Anonymous said...

You write, concerning the health care amendment, "Now, there's something people should vote on."

I agree with this sentiment in principle, but my more immediate complaint is that this is something the legislature is constitutionally required to vote on due to article 48.

This puts me in an awkward position. I stand in favor of same sex marriage, and believe that the proposed amendment is an affront to the good residents of massachusetts. However, it is unfortunately true that enough people disagree with me to have petitioned this amendment successfully to the legislature for a vote. I cannot in good conscience complain that my rights as a citizen have been violated by the legislature's tabling of the health care amendment while at the same time pushing for them to do the same to the bigotry amendment. The reason our state laws mandate that our legislators vote on all amendments is to prevent leadership from gaining too much power over the general court and only allowing measures they like to go forward. What if the situation were reversed? If we as citizens had successfully petitioned for a con. amendment forever protecting SSM and it was destroyed by a parliamentary tactic, we would be up in arms that our right to petition had been effectively negated.

I vehemently oppose this amendment. I didn't sign the petition, and I have actively encouraged those who are opposed to same sex marriage to change their ways. Nonetheless, we have an initiative petition procedure for a reason, and the death of the HC amendment showcases the importance of sticking to the procedure.

I don't believe citizens have a right to vote themselves on every initiative petition. I do, however believe certified initiative petitions must be voted on in the legislature. Instead of focusing our efforts on preventing a vote, we should be focused on winning the vote, which, despite what the backers of this grotesque amendment say, is a very real possibility. Even if it were to pass the first time, MassEquality is a powerful enough organization to take the roll call, asses the situation, and gain the necessary votes.

I realize that this is not the most prevailing sentiment on this site, but it is what I believe, and I am not afraid to say it. We cannot allow the legislature to simply disregard its constitutional responsibilities as it so often has in the past. Otherwise, it will be not only amendments we dislike, but any amendment that displeases the leadership. We won't always be in agreement with them, and thus we cannot afford to give them this power.

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