Friday, September 29, 2006

ConCon Coming -- Don't Rest

On the first Wednesday in January 2007, we get to see whom we elected in November 2006. For marriage equality, this is huge. Meanwhile, we must, as the the rural cliché has it, dance with the one we brung.

On November 9th, two days after the general election, a General Court that still includes retiring or defeated obstructors and anti-gay legislators meets together in Constitutional Convention. Key in their undone business from early this year is the amendment that would strip SSM rights from homosexuals.

A confluence of forces should hearten equality folk, at least for January. First, you can't overstress how important the growing public acceptance and support of SSM is here. That promises a certain defeat if such an anti-SSM amendment were to get on the 2008 ballot. Most legislators say they want to further the will of the people, which is often another way of saying they don't want to associate themselves with a losing vote.

Pushing this along is confirmation of this in the recent primary votes. Between weak or no opposition for November, numerous pro-civil-rights legislators will take the place of the tired old dogs, who quit or were ousted.

Together, these trends make it almost certain that if this dreadful amendment passes the pending ConCon with the 51 of 200 votes necessary to advance it to next year's ConCon, it will die then. Of course, such groups as MassEquality don't want it to live beyond November 9th.
Meanwhile, neither side on this amendment wants to reveal its counts of pledged legislators. Which leaves us to wonder:
  • What effect do the losses of retiring or defeated anti-SSM legislators have on the waffling lawmakers?
  • Will they take this as handwriting under the Sacred Cod and disassociate themselves from this loser?
  • Will some harden up in deference to their conservative voters and make a stand for the amendment?
  • Will the misguided let-the-people-vote forces overrule the protect-the-minorities ones?
You can see why both the pro-equality side and the Dark Side continue to fight this one fiercely. We could end up with nearly another year of strife and division, or we could toss this rubbish out.

It could go either way. You can be sure the Mass Family folk are lobbying hard in their last gasp for this amendment. If you are for marriage equality, the very least you can do is tell you legislator between now and November 9th.

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