Monday, February 27, 2006

Getting Past Gay Marriage

There's a decent article in today's Globe about Deval Patrick's outreach to other African-Americans, particularly those in the religious community who are opposed to marriage equality. Patrick has been trying to get people to look beyond the issue of gay marriage and speak to the concerns that really matter to them in their daily life.

"I'm going to step into sensitive territory here, because some have tried to discredit me and divide us over the whole question of gay marriage," Patrick said. "Don't let that happen."

Patrick's plea found the support he had been seeking.

After Patrick spoke, Dickerson and several worshipers made it clear that while they oppose gay marriage, they believe that far more pressing problems threaten their neighborhoods.
In particular, the article sites issues like crime, AIDS, and homelessness. Patrick himself pointed out that "there are people struggling to pay the rent and the heat in the same month," and that seems more urgent than the debate on marriage equality.

You might think that gay marriage would be a big issue in the 2006 election, but I'm not sure. Every candidate that we know of is in favor of rights to gay couples, though Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey wants it called "civil unions" (or maybe 'barriage'). It seems to me that people who want absolutely no rights for homosexuals have no place to go this election, and will have to wait until 2008, assuming that the gay marriage ban makes the ballot.