Homo Marriage Equality in Massachusetts
posted by June 15 at 9:52 AMon
The decision by the Dem-contolled legislature in Massachusetts not to place an anti-gay marriage amendment on the ballot didn’t make the front page of the New York Times this morning—but, hey, neither did that comical plot to blow up JFK Airport. There’s a single-column piece on the National News page, but no picture.
The importance of what happened—or what didn’t happen—in Massachusetts yesterday can’t be overstated. The chance that anti-gay activists in Massachusetts will be able to ban gay marriage in that state, and revoke the marriages of thousands of married couples in Massachusetts, are vanishingly slim. They can’t just come back next year and try again. From the NYT…
The vote means that opponents would have to start from Square 1 to sponsor a new amendment, which could not get on the ballot before 2012.
And as we’ve seen throughout the same-sex marriage debate, the more time passes, the more familiar Americans become with the issue, the more supportive people are of same-sex marriage. That’s why the religious right has worked so hard and, it must be said, so successfully, to enshrine their bigotry in state constitutions all over the country. It’s going to be difficult to undo the damage that’s already been done, to write bigotry back out of all those state constitutions, but Massachusetts made it a little bit easier.
Because same-sex marriage—not “consolation prize” civil unions or domestic partnerships, but full marriage equality—is going to remain a reality inside the United States. Social conservatives are good at ignoring the progress being made in Holland, Spain, Canada, Mexico, South Africa (!), and all the other countries that have legalized same-sex marriage. The institution of marriage has not crumbled to dust in those countries. Yet social conservatives, aided and abetted by the mainstream media, argue that same-sex marriage is a radical social experiment and God only knows what sort of chaos it will unleash. Better to err on the side of caution and, you know, do nothing about the insecurity and injustice same-sex couples have to endure.
Well, making that argument just got a little—hell, a lot—harder. Same-sex marriage is a reality in America, and will remain a reality in America. The nightmare scenarios spun by social conservatives about same-sex marriage will have to be weighed against the reality of same-sex marriage in one of the most populous states in the union.