Saturday, June 25, 2005

Manly in Manchester-by-the-Sea

The very Republican, very wealthy Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, constituent meeting got its thrill last night. The first state legislator to kick the anti-same-sex-marriage amendment when it's down was Rep. Bradford Hill.

To show the tenor of the Eastern half of the state, at least, the meeting cheered and applauded when he said he would no longer support the amendment proposed to go on the ballot next year. It needs a second majority vote of the combined legislature to do so.

Someone, maybe Marry in Massachusetts, should begin keeping score. We predict that this is the spark that signals many small (and pretty meaningless) explosions. Senators and Representatives surely are wondering how they can gain advantage here. Salient points include:
  • When self-identified religious voters, particularly in exurban and blue-collar communities complained about same-sex marriage, a slim majority of legislators voted for the first passage of the amendment.
  • When same-sex marriage proved positive for over a year, the confused and haters have dropped a bit.
  • Several anti-gay or anti-same-sex marriage legislators got dumped in the last election, replaced with equality-minded folk.
  • Polls show a growing majority of voters are happy with same-sex marriage, or at least don't want to strip existing rights from any group.
  • The recalcitrant queers-are-bad group has fewer fellow travelers.
  • The anti folk recently turned tail and now support a simple overturning of same-sex marriage and not civil union version. (Not coincidentally this would be much easier to get on the ballot, but not until 2008, by which time, all but the hardest heads will see that same-sex marriage threatens nothing.)
Today's Boston Globe has the fullest coverage of Rep. Hill's reversal. He's left himself the option of supporting the second amendment. That gives him plenty of time to suss the political points to gain by scampering this way or that.

A second prediction – an average of one politician a week announcing a new, firm, morally based position on this...subject to change, of course.


Anonymous said...

Good posting, but I was at that meeting in Manly Manchester-by-the-Sea and Brad Hill left no room for voting for the second amendment.

The most outrageous thing is that he used the term"equal rights" and for a Republican understanding that definition as anything other than "allowing overly tanned people access to my child's prep school" is truly amazing

massmarrier said...

Thanks for the fine-tuning. That must have been a startling meeting. I have to admire his waiting for the folk assembled to make his position known.

He was gutsy being first up to call his vote.

Thanks again for the clarifications.