Wednesday, November 19, 2003

The euphoria goes on here in Massachusetts, but the powers in opposition to gay and lesbian marriage lined up almost the minute the finding came down from the Supreme Judicial Court. First our governor Mitt Romney, a Mormon, declared that he is standing on three thousand years of recorded history to defend marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Gosh, don't I seem to remember that Mormons based their marital practices on polygamy? There have been quite recent incidents of the U.S. government proscecuting fundamentalist Mormons for having more than one wife, wives they married with the compliance of the Mormon Church. So, the governor's stance is not based on the surest footing historically, but he is a powerful opponent nevertheless and will join reactionary elements in the state legislature to work for an ammendment to the state Constitution banning gay marriage. That will not be a possibility, given the lengthy process of amending that Constitution, until 2006. Also, recorded history goes back rather further than 1000BC, but who's counting?

President Bush, as expected, said the prevention of gay marriage is a priority and gives his strong support to the effort. His political star isn't too bright right now but he has announced that American control of Iraq will be passed to the native population by the end of next June. Just SO coincidentally, that's six weeks or so before the Republican and Democratic nominating conventions. Whether the passing of power (that will NOT be accompanied by "bringing the boys and girls home"--they are to remain as "peace keepers," a role at which we have failed catastrophically so far) will give him a bounce with the voters remains to be seen. Turning him out of office is MY priority. His most viable Democratic opponent thus far is Governor Dean of Vermont with its gay-friendly civil unions.

WBZ radio this AM featured commentary by its major legal analyst who says he doesn't see how the governor and legislature can stop gay marriage in the near term but did say that he thinks the legislature may try to sleaze out of gay marriage by coming up with laws creating civil unions here, something the governor is willing to support. Of course it is NOT the same thing, and the Court was clear about the enablement of gay MARRIAGE.
This is why I think we are in for a contentious time. The Court could come down on the legislature for evading its ruling and then we would have a brawl among the various branches of state government.

Interestingly, however, WBZ commentator John Keller came out strongly in favor of the Court ruling this morning on the unconventional but quite logical grounds that it is a socially conservative decree. Keller is an intelligent and highly articulate observer who is on the conservative side politically but surprisingly liberal and balanced socially. He has spoken in favor of gay and lesbian civil rights with some frequency. He pulls out of various parts of the state and national Constitutions the notion that marriage is based on love and commitment rather than procreation. He adds that the moral lives of the "founding fathers" don't bear too much scrutiny in the marriage department. He maintains that stabilizing the lives and relationshops of people who want to settle down and who want to adopt--and who just happen to be of the same sex--would be an reaffirmation and expansion of family life in the U.S. And he urges everybody involved to remember that ww live in a secular society, not a theocracy. Let's hope people are listening and open to that kind of level-headed viewpoint.

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