Thursday, May 10, 2007

Pre-ConCon Analysis

With the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention pushed out until at least June 14th, follow-up posting ranges from BS to brilliant. Here are a few pointers:
Note too that we kicked this can up and down the hall with Bay Windows Editor-in-Chief Susan Ryan-Vollmar in our Left Ahead! weekly podcast. I hope she's wrong that a vote is likely to advance the amendment, despite Patrick's efforts, if the ConCon gets a quorum and votes.

I also see no proof that either self-proclaimed marriage-equality leaders House Speaker Sal DiMasi and Senate President Therese Murray has used their power for good here. With the three of them, this should be an easy victory to quash this hateful amendment.

I note too that the SJC decision last year has passed into myth. The side mention that the court majority thought the legislature should feel obliged to vote on ballot initiatives has morphed comically. Of course, ConCon-ers evoked that citation when voting on the amendment in January, but in the same session, suddenly did not feel obliged to vote on the health-care one.

Surely, anti-gay sentiments did not influence action there...

On top of the hypocrisy of the last ConCon choosing its compunctions, note that the high-court decision said that there was no penalty for not voting and that the SJC could do nothing about it. Also, the mention of having to vote was a side opinion and decidedly not a ruling. Legally, it was a throw-away line. That's where the current myth, repeated both in the legislature and MSM, reappears.

Legislators have a choice on whether to help try to strip existing civil rights from a minority. There is no hiding behind an SJC decision. This January too, they decided which initiatives they would advance by voting and which to kill. We know one that needs killing.

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