Thursday, November 30, 2006

Let The People Vote?

The ability to walk a mile in another man’s moccasins affords those who practice it a more complete understanding in most any situation. Pertaining to the issue of marriage equality, I see a group of conservative minded people who are doing what they believe is best for themselves and those they care about. Standing up for what they believe in is an admirable notion, but when it is accomplished through omission and mistruth, it loses all nobility. The petition to end marriage equality was put into existence under dubious circumstances and should not necessarily be seen as the will of the people.

Time and time again the opponents of marriage equality have told the public they need to fear gays being married. They say that their churches and way of life are under attack, the sanctity of marriage is at stake, and that society needs to protect children. Were any of these accusations true, it would be of concern to me as well, but the proof is lacking. In the nearly three years that marriage equality has existed, it has not been proven a threat to anyone, let alone harmful. and Massachusetts Family Institute have failed in their responsibility to prove what they accuse to the citizens of this commonwealth. It is time for logical heads to prevail and voice the reality that gay marriage is no more harmful than any other aspect of living in a continually more diverse society. Unfounded charges should not be afforded the dignity of our attention, especially when those charges are meant to deny an entire class of people their civil rights.

These groups have failed to bring a majority of citizens to support their root cause. The opponents of marriage equality hope to divert voter’s attention to an argument that has more impact only at first glance. They argue that the right to vote directly on this issue is being taken away from citizens, and democracy is being overruled by our legislators. This is not the truth, but it grabs people's attention. They are doing this as a distraction from what this amendment is meant to do for our community, and what it will say about our state. Our own constitution argues that one citizen’s rights end where another citizen’s rights begin. We need to be ever vigilant not to legislate beliefs, even our own. In a country that prides itself on freedom and equality, and in a state whose history is so rich in the leadership of these principles, how do we justify such a vote where no such justification has been established?

We have elected fine representatives that understand the essence of liberty, their responsibilities, and see the amendment to end marriage equality for what it is; a vessel of hatred and bigotry. They understand civil rights are not to be voted upon, and if this amendment comes before us on a ballot, we the people would vote it down ourselves. They are trying to save us all another two years of vitriol and social division. Let the legislators do their job and defend us from those who level unsubstantiated charges against their neighbors that are akin to bearing false witness.

The attempt to simplify this matter into a debate on whether we should vote directly is an attempt to distract and dupe people once again. The same was done when this very petition was circulated. Don't fall for it people, you're better than that. Gay people are individuals, just like everyone else. As individuals they have proven themselves as worthy neighbors, and generous contributors to society. There are no good reasons to deny gay people the dignity to marry, or be treated as lesser than equal solely of the fact that they are gay.

In conclusion, let us lay to rest the argument once and for all, whether or not marriage is a civil right with the precedent cited from the United States Supreme Court; “Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.”

388 U.S. 1
June 12, 1967, Decided
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WARREN delivered the opinion of the Court.

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