Thursday, June 14, 2007

Today, I am nervous.

Today, I will be checking in hourly with Ryan's Take.

For those not in the know, today is the day of the Seventeenth Constitutional Convention here in Massachusetts. The one where it is decided whether basic civil rights should be at the mercy of voters. Whether we should literally be voting on whether to take away people's civil rights. Whether gay people should be allowed the right of marriage.

Pardon my language, but HOW FUCKING BACKWARDS IS THIS?

My position on this has not changed since I wrote this.

I'm in knots, here. Excuse me while I go and be ill.



PinksandBluesGirls said...

Good luck! :)

Jane, Pinks & Blues Girls

Mrs. Chicky said...


karrie said...

Thank the flying spaghetti monstah!


margalit said...

Yeah, I was watching all afternoon, too. Holding my breath, but from what my state rep (Kay Kahn) said, it was going to be defeated by a huge margin, and it was. I blogged about it just a bit ago.

MA just totally rocks!

Mamma said...

You all are keeping my hopes alive for some sanity in this country.

Major Bedhead said...


I love this state.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

I too am so happy to live in Massachusetts right now. I just can't believe how many people are wasting their energy fighting gay marriage. Really, in the few years since it has been legal, has the state gone to hell in a handbag? Are all school children dreaming of becoming gay? Such a ridiculous fight; let people marry!

Mrs Big Dubya said...

Mercy of the voters?

We live in a democracy -- I think people should get to vote.

When "the powers that be" don't think that the citizenry is smart enough to make an informed decision and vote.... we are all in trouble.

I understand that you are happy with the outcome, but.... I'm not sure that this was the way to get it.

Rock the Cradle said...

“the right way to get it” is the way we all used our democratic system. Getting in touch with our representatives, talking and discussing, signing petitions and calling and writing letters. Then it was up to our representatives to judge which action to take. The first vote around, they supported the ban. The second time around, enough people had spoken and called and written those representatives that they convinced them what the right course of action is.

This is why we have representatives. To represent us. And enough of us think that human rights should not be put on a ballot and up for a vote that they listened.

We live in a democracy, and part of being in this democracy is protecting minority rights.

We vote on human rights? Did we vote to put women on the ballot? To bring blacks to the front of the bus? To outlaw slavery? Should we have put these things up for a popular vote? Mrs Big Dubya, you would not be voting at all right now, if we had. How's that for trouble?

I'd like to know I live in a world where all minorities had enough voices to protect themselves from discrimination, but we all know that is not the world we live in.

In this world, we have do what we can to protect others basic human rights. Luckily, our system is made so we can do it, and do it legally.

And let's be clear. This outcome hurts ABSOLUTELY NO ONE. It just reminded people of what they should be doing in the first place. Which is minding their own business. Now if we can just convince the rest of the country...

Mrs Big Dubya said...

I respectfully disagree.

Marriage is a civil right, not a human right... and in my little corner of the world, it's a sacrament. I'm not sure it's fair or appropriate to equate gay marriage to slavery.

Also, I am well versed in how the democratic system works -- sometimes it works well, and I'm sure you'd agree that sometimes ... not so well.

I signed one of the petitions you mention and I had a lengthy discussion with my representative (when this quest began, I was living in MA). I signed the petition to put this item on the ballot -- not because I was for or against gay marriage or civil unions -- but because I think the cause would have benefited from a full-blown vote. When the citizenry is asked to vote, they get educated -- and education leads to debate, tolerance and hopefully acceptance.

You wrongfully assume that because I think this matter deserved a vote, I am against gay people, gay relationships or gay unions -- and this is not the case.

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Rock the Cradle said...

I appreciate your respectful disagreement.

To be precise, marriage itself is never mentioned in definitions of either civil or human rights. But the issue of gay marriage is one concerning both civil rights and human rights. Not either/or.

From the American Heritage Dictionary:

civil rights: pl.n. The rights belonging to an individual by virtue of citizenship, especially the fundamental freedoms and privileges guaranteed by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and by subsequent acts of Congress, including civil liberties, due process, equal protection of the laws, and freedom from discrimination.

human rights pl.n. The basic rights and freedoms to which all human beings are entitled, often held to include the right to life and liberty, freedom of thought and expression, and equality before the law.

Equality before the law. This is what gay people are asking for in regards to marriage. Thus, a human rights issue as well.

Then you introduced the word “sacrament” so consequently, religion. The true motivator for the ban. It's when one “little corner of the world” begins to demand authority over the rest of the world and deny equality to those who do not subscribe to their beliefs that things begin to get ugly. Religions, as always, will do as they please according to their own interpretations of morality. In Massachusetts, some religions will allow gay couples to perform the sacrament of marriage, others will not. It is their prerogative. Some may question the legitimacy of gays performing the sacrament of marriage inside or outside of the Catholic Church. I will leave that argument to those who have more invested in the question than I. The government, as it should, will treat everyone equally.

By the way, just to clarify, I did not equate gay marriage with slavery. I supplied a list of instances in our history when important amendments (the 19th, 14th, and 13th, respectively) were added to the Constitution without a popular vote, or used to overturn outrages like legal segregation.

We do not need or require a popular vote to become educated. If we did, more than a few suffragettes would have seen a very different outcome to their years of work and sacrifice. Susan B. Anthony and Alice Paul and myriads of women educated and enlightened others without the benefit of a supportive population. If you want to go back even further, so did Jesus. Education is happening as we write. As we discuss this issue respectfully, and people read about and consider the issue. We are debating the issue right now. Can tolerance and acceptance be far behind?

Yes, democracy works well...especially when it works in our favor. Otherwise, it doesn't work so well. Or so we would like to think. Let's face it, it makes us feel better to say, “I didn't get what I want. It isn't that other people got what they wanted and worked so hard's that democracy just isn't working so well.” Most people (at least, the half that actually votes) in America have probably felt this at one time or another, regardless of party affiliation.

I would be lying if I said I didn't wonder at your motivation. But I didn't make any assumptions about your personal beliefs. I certainly don't see where I wrongfully assumed you are against gay people, gay relationships and gay unions.
Observing that gay marriage hurts absolutely no one at all hardly qualifies as an assumption about your personal beliefs. It has everything to do with me doing my own little soap box thing.

Just so you know, I prefer to try to keep an open mind and give people the benefit of the doubt. Life is nicer that way.