Friday, June 15, 2007

That Was Then, This Is Now

This morning's Boston Herald editorial on yesterday's defeat of the marriage ban reminded me of something I had been wanting to mention for a while now. Here's what the Herald wrote today:

Yesterday’s defeat of a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage represents not just a victory for gay couples, but a loss for those who cynically sought political advantage by favoring the most uncompromising version of such an amendment. The latter, like presidential contender Mitt Romney, got what they deserved.
Indeed, somewhat forgotten in yesterday's events was the fact that in 2005, opponents of marriage almost all voted against a Constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage, but at the same time create civil unions. There was no outcry when that amendment died at the Constitutional Convention that citizens of Massachusetts were being robbed of a chance to vote on marriage. Instead opponents of marriage equality helped engineer the defeat of that amendment, imagining that they could avoid a compromise and stop same-sex marriages without conceding civil unions. It's apparent now that they overreached. If they had put their energy behind the 2005 amendment, it may well have passed and gone to the voters in 2006. Imagine how different the 2006 election might have gone with a marriage ban on the ballot.

Again, if it was okay to stop the 2005 Travaglini-Lees compromise amendment from going to the voters, why is it suddenly an abuse of the democratic process to stop this year's attempt to restrict marriage rights? The answer is that it's not, and anyone who tries to frame what happened yesterday in that way is likely more upset that somewhere in Massachusetts some gay people are happy than they are concerned about the state of our democracy.