Thursday, July 06, 2006

Ragging on the Marriage Bigots

Today's Boston Globe and Boston Phoenix swat at pests, typical of their particular cultures. By placement and context, the Globe's front-page lead story shows the anti-same-sex-marriage crowd to be out of touch with the Zeitgeist. The Phoenix' editorial uses heavy-handed invective as you might find here to call Mitt Romney's and Sean O'Malley's bigotry what it is.

Whether either or both of these has any influence on the pending ConCon to consider stripping commonwealth homosexuals of the now established right to marry remains to be seen. Come July 12th we'll see whether the General Court is as tired of the fakery and whining of the anti-gay, anti-equality clusters as the rest of us are.

Despite the fun, funny, yet fair name calling in the weekly, the daily's piece is more noteworthy. It has the feel of one of those many movies about making movies or a novel about a novelist. Using its insider advantage, it covers an ad the Globe will run on Monday, two days before the ConCon.

MassEquality is buying the ad opposing amendment. It carries the names of 156 politicians and business big shots. That is an amusing pig pile on the three bishops who stood up with Romney last week to ask for a vote in favor of stripping existing rights from one class of citizens.

Legislators will have to decide whether it is more politically savvy to stand up with the majority of voters and civic leaders or stay with the hard-line regressives. Given that the ballot-initiative amendment process only requires 50 -- a quarter of the combined General Court -- to advance this to the next ConCon for approval and on to the 2008 ballot, this is still in the air.

We have not seen the full ad, but the Globe cites some of the signatories and part of the content. On paper opposing adding discrimination to our constitution are:
Boston Mayor Tom Menino
  • Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce President Paul Guzzi (and 20 Chamber board members)
  • Pats owner Bob Kraft and his wife Myra Kraft
  • Mystery writer Robert Parker
  • Charles River Ventures Founder Richard M. Burnes Jr.
  • Boston Foundation President Paul S. Grogan
  • Former Chairman of the Bank of America Chad Gifford
A key point in the ad is that passing such an amendment would hurt the commonwealth in many ways at a particularly tenuous moment. "These people whose expertise are the business and the economy are harping on the topic that banning same-sex marriage is bad for business, bad for job growth, and bad for the economy. That is a very powerful message for legislators from the biggest business leaders in the state," according to Co-Chair Arline Isaacson of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus.

Those favoring the amendment are still harping on their fantasy that we should have plebiscites on the rights of minorities. That goes right to the Phoenix' view, not too subtly titled Nouveau Jim Crow.

A lot of haters and wafflers get it in the editorial:
  • O'Malley is "invoking Caesar to render unto God, or at least his God. When God is on your side, civil rights are beside the point."
  • Reilly says he would vote against the amendment were he a legislator but thinks the ConCon should vote on it. "Those are weasel words. They appear reasonable, but their import is that he is willing to put same-sex marriage in mortal danger."
  • Deval Patrick favors SSM, but "believe the legislature should call its own shots. A waffle is a waffle by any other name."
  • Chris Gabrieli "dodged the issue. When offered an opportunity to define how he differs from Patrick and Reilly, Gabrieli, to his shame, flubbed it."
The editorial is as hard on Reilly as we are, writing:
Where would the civil-rights movement have been if Tom Reilly had been in the fight? It’s a safe bet that the schools of Little Rock, Arkansas, still would be segregated.
It calls Reilly and O'Malley "latter-day Jim Crows." The former cynically wanting to have it both ways politically. The latter "because he is promoting redneck theology as a public practice." For good measure, they finally get to Romney "busy actively courting Jim Crows throughout the land."

The concluding call is for Patrick and Gabrieli to stand up and speak out strongly for civil rights, now. They should say plainly that the Supreme Judicial Court settled this and that "any effort to interfere with those rights is as repugnant as it is undesirable."

Nuff said.

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