Friday, June 15, 2007

Marriage quotes

So, the Massachusetts legislature voted down the attempt to put marriage rights for same-sex couples to a referendum. Good. A few quotes from the news stuck with me:

In one of the early Associated Press stories:

Across the road, gay marriage advocates stood on the front steps of the capital waving signs that read, "Wrong to Vote on Rights" and "All Families Are Equal."

Jean Chandler, 62, of Cambridge, came with fellow members of her Baptist church in an effort to rebuff the image that strict followers of the Bible are opposed to gay marriage.

"I think being gay is like being left-handed," Chandler said. "If we decided left-handed people couldn't marry, what kind of society would we be?"

The Boston Globe published a statement from a senator who changed her mind and voted against the amendment:

I know from listening to my constituents, since I first became Senator this year that this vote, the vote I take today, is the right vote for the people I serve. I have been most impressed by the number of individuals who have called me and asked me to change my vote because they have changed their minds. One grandmother told me she had changed her mind and wanted me to change my vote in case one of her grandchildren grew up to be gay or lesbian. She did not want any of her grandchildren to be denied the right to marry the person they love. This is exactly the legacy we will leave to generations beyond us, and the example we can set for the nation and, I daresay the world, which is certainly paying attention to what we do and say here today.

The Attleboro Sun Chronicle has an article about a senator from that area who also changed his mind and voted against the amendment:

He finally decided to change his position and vote against the ban while talking about his father with a visitor Wednesday.

The visitor had asked Ross about his business as a funeral home director.

Ross, R-Wrentham, said he was recalling how his father was an undertaker before him.

His father told him that the business teaches you that everyone is entitled to respect and dignity.

"As I told that story, I started to cry and had to excuse myself. That story came from up above and was dropped on me," he said.

The memory of his father teaching him the importance of respect confirmed for him that he had to vote against the ban because it would have subjected gay couples to "hatred and bigotry," he said.

Ross said gay marriage has been allowed in Massachusetts for about three years now.

Couples have been united and families formed in that time.

Gay couples have never done anything to hurt him or his family, so why should he hurt them? he asked.

Note: the Sun Chronicle a few weeks ago also published an open letter to Sen. Ross, which is also worth reading.

Congratulations to our friends in Massachusetts. Here's hoping that it won't be long until Rhode Island's legislators also stand up for what is right.

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