Monday, November 20, 2006

Massachusetts Marriage Fight

"A decision not to vote is a decision to usurp the Constitution, to abandon democracy and substitute a form of what this nation's founders called tyranny, that is, the imposition of the will of those in power, on the people," Romney said earlier. "The issue now before us is not whether same-sex couples should marry. The issue before us today is whether 109 legislators will follow the Constitution."--Governor Mitt Romney at the Marriage rally on November 19,2006

Photo credit: AP

The rally that I talked about yesterday did indeed take place. The following post is pretty much word for word from my source, who is a key player in this whole fight to get the marriage amendment on the ballot.

Photo Credit: AP
Today’s rally in Boston sponsored by Mitt Romney and was extremely successful. With well over 5,000 in attendance on the conservative side as well as 2,000 pro-gay marriage protestors, the event certainly got significant coverage. The 2,000 protestors were a nuisance – jeering and screaming “bigots!” as “God Bless America” was sung and the Pledge of Allegiance recited by the crowd – but they couldn’t detract from the purpose of the event. Romney’s demand for the legislature to reconvene and vote has been reported all over, but here’s the link to the article.

Opponents to the right to vote on marriage are they’re trying to say that the issue is over, that people in Massachusetts want to move on. However, when over 5,000 people show up in the cold with their children on only a few days notice it is clear that this issue is not dead. As well, those 5,000 are only a small percentage of the 170,000 who signed the petition requesting a vote on this issue. Those citizens, and indeed all citizens in Massachusetts, have a right to expect their legislature to honor their oath of office and uphold the constitution.

The Massachusetts constitution states very clearly that with the appropriate conditions met, the legislature MUST vote on this issue. With half a dozen legislators making public comments in the media about how they are using this tactic in order to kill the issue, there is obviously grounds for legal action to be taken. A few options are open at this point. It’ll be interesting watching this situation develop as we see which legal avenue Romney and the Vote On Marriage organizers choose to pursue.

The most common argument in defense of gay marriage is, “How does my marriage affect our marriage?“ The clear answer is kids.

By taking out the male/female equation to marriage you are basically making the argument that there is nothing unique about male and female. Hundreds of years of studies contradict that idea, though. Children who are raised with both a mother and father are more likely to get an education, go to college, stay off of drugs, and maintain employment. The benefits of state-sponsored marriage therefore exist because the state has an interest in children being raised in a home with a biological mother and father. Male/Female marriage promotes healthier children and thus healthier citizens. With legalized gay marriage the state is, as a matter of public policy, depriving children of their best shot at having two parents – a mother and father.

Whether or not children exist in a marriage, marriage does not exist to validate people and make them feel good about themselves. Marriage exists to promote the healthiest environment to have children. It has been proven time beyond measure that children are missing something significant, something absolutely crucial, without a parent of both sexes. Marriage benefits, therefore, exist in order to promote that special environment, not make people feel good about themselves.

On a related note, the Arizona marriage amendment may not be such a dead issue after all. The amendment there failed by only 1%. However, the absentee ballots were not counted at the point when the measure was announced to have failed. At the moment, the amendment is down by only 33,000 votes, with 300,000 absentee ballots still out. Arizona’s amendment was a trickier one than most states, as their constitution already technically prohibits gay marriage. This amendment was seen as redundant by many, which in part contributed to the difficulty there in passing it.

And on a complete shallow side note, Romney appears to be so over-handled that his own wardrobe at this rally is obviously attempting to send a message. A red tie, blue scarf, and white shirt as he stands in front of the Red, White & Blue? Give me a break! I swear he looks like Mattel’s version of Ken the Politician doll. ;-)

Despite his ambivalence in the past I am very proud of Romney for taking this stand. It will be interesting to see how this all pans out.

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