Friday, June 15, 2007

The day that was in Massachusetts

Massachusetts made history this week: its lawmakers refused to allow fundamentalist extremists to place on the ballot an initiative challenging the right of gay and lesbian people to marry in their state. The scene was suspenseful and emotional and I commend to you a "blow by blow" description of the action provided by John Aravosis of America Blog (click on the title of this post).
I'm not a person who wants to marry but I certainly want the right to chose, and be assured that as I read John's narrative tears came to my eyes.

Gays & lesbians in America have struggled long and hard to gain every one of the civil liberties they enjoy against a very vocal, well funded, fundamentalist minority who do not speak for the majority in this country. It is gratifying to know that a state legislature stood up to protect one of the most fundamental rights our country can offer. Deval Patrick, Mass.'s new Governor, deserves a pat on the back for his very vocal support of the LGBT community. He stood shoulder to shoulder with them in pushing back a cynical bid to relegate gays & lesbians to permanent 2nd class status.

The Governor of California certainly wouldn't have provided such leadership. Our State Assembly and Senate passed a bill last year to legalize marriage for gay & lesbian Californians and he vetoed it. Mark Leno is carrying the same bill (AB43) through the Assembly again and it should pass that body and the State Senate. Our Governor promises to veto it again and I hope the State Legislature keeps sending it back to him until he gets the message.

In the meantime we could support his efforts by sharing this blog post with every Californian we know and urging them to pressure their State Legislators to sponsor the bill and lobby the Governor to sign it. Many non-gay Californians support marriage equality and their voices carry weight. A call or email to the governor (916-445-2841 or in support of AB43 from our non-gay family members, neighbors, and friends will take just a few minutes and you'll feel better about yourself for doing it, trust me.

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