With Sal DeMasi now in charge of the House, and Travaglini on the wedding circuit, it would seem that the prospects of the anti-gay marriage amendment passing are getting slimmer. And as I’ve said before, look around: is there chaos in the streets? Are we entering an era of Roman decadence? Is civilization at risk, as the Pope contends?
Apparently not, at least not here in MA. And therefore, we need to provide a climb-down opportunity for elected folks who have staked at least part of their reputations on opposing gay marriage. Friends, relatives and neighbors of gay folks (hey, that’s most of us!) need not go for the jugular, at least not now. Now is the time to show that reconciliation and neighborliness are possible in this case, and indeed are the only option. And with an overwhelmingly Democratic House and Senate, perhaps this is the best approach. Politicians always want to know what you can do for them: What we can provide them is some cover: "Hey, it’s all right, your thinking has evolved on the issue; you wouldn’t want to break up families now, we understand…" etc. etc.
Lest this all sound too "soft" or weak: sometimes it takes guts and courage not to berate and vilify your opponent. Even to his bitterest enemies, Gandhi always addressed his letters "Dear Friend." We must strongly and courageously insist on love, justice, neighborliness and tolerance, even with our opponents; I have to believe that will contrast well against their message of fear. On this issue, our state has the opportunity to be a Blue Beacon to the rest of the country.
(Now, I have little doubt that His Romnellency will use this as a wedge issue to bolster his wingnut credentials for ’08, but we’ll burn that bridge if and when we come to it. For now, Mitt, welcome to the love-fest.)