Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Graceless Granite, with Color

The Concord Monitor has now published its account of the dysfunctional marriage commission meetings. The earlier post here has the basics; the Monitor provides the gore. It is a long article, worth reading.

Half the flavor comes from the hidebound members, mostly Republicans, who refuse to lead and want to stifle anything that smells of same-sex marriage or civil unions. The other half is the personal sniping more suited to a tree-house club than a governor's commission.

In arguing against a motion that the commission's report recommend SSM, Chairman Rep. Tony Soltani pulled the non-leadership lever. "There's got to be public acceptance" before the commission can support same-sex marriage, he said, ignoring the months of testimony and role of the commission to suggest direction.

One commissioner said the quick no votes suggests that the body is a sham. An alternate, Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, circulated a letter saying Soltani made homophobic remarks about the gay members. Soltani said, "I'm not going to apologize for something I didn't do."

A proposal for a Hawaiian-style domestic-partnership registry failed by only two votes. Soltani thought that model might appear in the final report in some form.

The posturing and pouting evident in the meetings suggests that the final report, due by the end of the year may have majority and minority versions.

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