Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Tyranny of the Minority

In a sad turn of events, a small minority of the Massachusetts legislature was able to impose its will on the majority. Anti-Gay bigots, cheered on by now-former Governor Mitt "Only Mormons Go To Heaven" Romney, scored a strategic victory by forcing a vote on a constitutional measure that could eventually repeal the right of gays and lesbians to get married in the Bay State.

The proposal has to pass during the next session of the state legislature before it can be placed on the 2008 statewide ballot. This time, in a joint session of both houses of the legislature, the anti-gay vote was 62 to 134. That's right, better than two-to-one in favor of protecting gay marriage and we still lost. Massachusetts requires only 50 votes in two consecutive sessions to put a measure on the ballot. Of course that's better than in most states where the bigots can whip up irrational fears and tap into hatred during a one-shot campaign that changes the constitution for a generation or more. At least Massachusetts has two more chances to get it right -- during the next legislative session and, assuming this vile assault on civil rights "passes" again, during the 2008 election.

Although polls in Massachusetts since the original court decision (granting gays equality) have shown a steady trend toward support of gay rights, no one should assume the measure will be defeated. And, of course, this won't be the end of it. There are plenty more constitutional amendments where this one came from. For example, taking away a woman's right to vote, religious tests (and that means christian) for public office and heck, while they're at it, why don't we bring back slavery? Think what it could do to compete with low foreign wages...

No comments: