The health care lobby has tried to pin that on gay people – as if WE’RE to blame for this whole mess. I’ll note that when this bill died – months and months ago – it came up for a vote before gay marriage. If it died then, before gay marriage was even up for a vote, what makes these
schmucks short-sighted individuals think marriage equality has anything to do with this?
I’ll note that I was willing to put my rights – as a gay man – to risk. Before the last ConCon, I decided we should just have the vote. I was prepared for the battle that would be ahead, when this issue would likely have made it to the ballot because of the mere 25% threshold.
However, a foul ball went my way. Foul balls almost always go to the connected and well-funded. But for once, the state legislature was willing to throw a foul in the direction of good. They were willing to stand up and say “we don’t think this is right” and use all the tactics available to them to protect the rights of a minority that has been subjected to hundreds of years of malice.
Sometimes people say the gay rights movement should slow down. To shame. To shame. It reminds me of a famous quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.
For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant ‘Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”
We have waited and sacrificed – a long time – for equal rights in Massachusetts. Now that we have it, we’re not suddenly going to risk giving them up. The legislature shouldn’t be denounced for sticking up for what’s right, they should be applauded.
However, while I would merely be angry and disappointed by the short-sightedness of the people behind the health care amendment, I am outraged. Why? It’s not only that they disagree with gay rights activists. It’s not that they’re throwing a pitch fork in the middle of the progressive movement, one that could severely damage everything we’ve worked for. It’s not even that I necessarily disagree with their rights to get involved in the matter.
The outrage is in their remedy.
Basically, their argument is that the failure of the legislature to vote should be deemed the equivalent of 25% of the legislature voting in favor of an amendment. If the SJC were to adopt that solution, the effect would be to advance the health care amendment to the 2008 ballot (since it has already received one of the two required legislative votes), and to advance the anti-marriage amendment to the 2007-08 legislative session.
They’re advancing the causes of blatantly homophobic people. They’re pretending to argue for something that they’re really arguing against: honoring the constitution. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts has no legal standing or precedent to override the legislature on deciding what gets on the ballot as an amendment to the constitution. In essense, they’re selfishly arguing for their cause by claiming the legislature is violating the constitution – and asking for the SJC to violate it too, as a remedy.
It makes me seriously question whether or not the people behind the health care amendment are homophobic. Clearly, they don’t care a shred about the rights of gays and lesbians. I urge anyone who supports healthcare – as I do – to shun this so-called health care advocacy group. They only serve to weaken the entire progressive movement out of their selfishness.