Skip to comments.Massachusetts Gay marriage decision met with optism, dismay
Posted on 11/18/2003 12:48:44 PM PST by NYer
BOSTON (AP) _ For some, it was an occasion to pop champagne corks and start planning spring weddings. For others, it was cause for dismay over what they saw as the further erosion of traditional family values.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's ruling that same-sex couples are legally entitled to wed under the state constitution drew both praise and criticism Tuesday from around Massachusetts and the nation. And both supporters and opponents of gay marriage warned that the battle may not be over.
The high court's 4-3 ruling opened the door for gay marriages in the state. But for some supporters, there was lingering concern that the Legislature would somehow derail that victory. And the idea of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage being placed on the ballot in 2006 had powerful supporters.
``I agree with 3,000 years of recorded history. I disagree with the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts,'' Republican Gov. Mitt Romney said. ``Marriage is an institution between a man and a woman ... and our constitution and laws should reflect that.''
House Speaker Thomas Finneran, D-Boston, has also endorsed such an amendment. Senate President Robert Travaglini, D-Boston, wouldn't say Tuesday what his position would be on a possible referendum vote in 2006 _ the earliest such a change could be enacted. Meanwhile, at a Boston news conference, same-sex couples who had sued the state seeking access to marriage licenses were jubilant, hugging and smiling. Some said news of the decision prompted on-the-spot proposals to longtime partners. ``It's a historic day because finally all families in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will have the opportunity to be equal families under the law,'' said Mary Bonauto, the lead attorney in the case.
At a bookstore in Northampton, a western Massachusetts city with a sizable gay community, people broke out the champagne after the court's decision was released. One of them, Lily Perkins, said gay couples were fighting for something heterosexual couples take for granted. ``We are a family,'' she said. ``This is a positive move to equality.'' Perkins and her partner, Tracy Ross, have been together for six years, own a home in Northampton and have adopted a 5-year-old son. ``We aren't asking for special rights,'' Ross said. ``We areasking for parity.'' Supporters of gay marriage were also expected to rally Tuesday evening in Northampton and Boston.
Archbishop Sean O'Malley issued a statement saying the court's decision flew in the face of history and common sense. ``It is alarming that the Supreme Judicial Court in this ruling has cast aside ... the very definition of marriage held by peoples for thousands of years,'' O'Malley said in a statement. ``My hope is that legislators will have the courage and common sense to redress the situation for the good of society.''
Ray Flynn, the former Boston mayor and U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, criticized the ruling, and said he felt the debate would now shift to the presidential campaign. ``This has been a ticking time bomb in America for the last several months that has exploded in Massachusetts,'' he said. ``Not only is this decision a Massachusetts decision, but this will affect the New Hampshire primary and the election itself.''
The state's congressional delegation had a mixed reaction to the SJC ruling. Democratic Rep. Barney Frank, who is openly gay, said the decision ``will enhance the lives of probably thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of Massachusetts citizens, and will have no negative effects on anyone else.'' Rep. Marty Meehan agreed. ``There will be some from the right who will try to paint a picture that this will somehow be an infringement on heterosexual couples, I don't view it that way,'' said Meehan, also a Democrat.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., said the decision was a ``welcome new milestone on the road to full civil rights for all our citizens. ``It's wrong for any state to discriminate against gays and lesbians by denying them the many benefits and protections that the laws of the state provide for married couples,'' Kennedy said.
As word of the decision spread across the nation Tuesday, national advocacy groups from both ends of the political spectrum who have been eyeing the Massachusetts decision as a key event in the national debate over gay marriage, chimed in. The Human Rights Campaign, a national lesbian and gay political organization, said, ``In the best tradition of our nation, that court ruled that the hard-working tax-paying gay and lesbian citizens deserve the same rights and protections under law as other citizens of the state. ... This is good for gay couples and it's good for America.''
Gary Bauer, president of American Values, a conservative public policy group, said the decision was ``deeply disturbing.'' ``But marriage between a man and a woman predates the state of Massachusetts and I believe it will survive these four judges' foolishness,'' he said. Bauer agreed with Flynn that the decision would have repercussions nationwide and could become ``a defining cultural issue'' in the presidential campaign.
Perry Norton, father of one of the plaintiffs in the case, Heidi Norton, said the decision was ``one step forward.'' ``We're very pleased. ... I'm glad for the litigants and for the hundreds and thousands of same-sex couples in Massachusetts,'' he said. ``Yet I see a steady uphill struggle to achieve full rights in this state and in the entire country.''
The problem is that they can only appeal back to the SJC, the feds have no jurisdicion based on the 10th amendment.
Sure. Let the voters decide. Sounds good to me.
That's backwards. The Legislature makes the laws, the courts make sure they're upheld.
Since when do the courts have the right to dictate the law to the law makers?
That would be like SCOTUS running our House and Senate!
They over ruled the Taxas Sodomy law. The legislator was run over by pro-sodomite dictators.
Why not have a national ammendment and have the American voters put an end to all this nonsence once and for all? Bring it up for a national vote ASAP. This concerns the whole country. Let the voters decide.
Archbishop Sean O'Malley bump
|Malachi 4: 1 - 6 - Study This Chapter|
Does anyone know by which Governors they were appointed? I can't remember, during the 15 yrs. I've been here who has appointed who. I never paid attention because I knew it was something over which I had no control.
Yep, and they've been doing it for the last 35 years! That's why it's so important to break the Democrat logjam in the Senate and get some conservatives on the Federal courts!!
Admit defeat. Accept the fact you live in a Post-Christian Society and changing Documents is futile.
Hearts and souls must be changed.
Yep. Right now, the sheep are being seperated from the goats, the wheat from the tares. It has to be done.
The left leaning hearts of the world are moving farther to the left. The right leaning hearts are moving farther to the right. The fire is being stoked. It won't be long before the tares get what they have been litigating for, and they're not going to like it.
That sounds like the same message given by Satan to Jesus in the wildreness, doesn't it? Give up.
(Jesus said no, BTW)
Huh? You seem to be knowledgeable about what is taught in 'Judical Colleges.' I'm not familiar with those schools. Are the real colleges or are they like the Electoral College?
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