The decision of the SJC will go into effect Monday, May 17, 2004, at which time marriage as universally understood for millenia of human history will be forever changed. Chaos will ensue. Marriage has always been between opposite-sex couples, and for good reason. The incredible upheaval in Massachusetts is inevitable. - Appellant's Memo in Largess v. Massachusetts.
I thought I would write a wonderful post in honor of the one year anniversary of marriage equality in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, I'm a little short on time, so instead I provide links. From today's Boston Globe editorial:
Another opportunity to measure the effects of gay marriage in Massachusetts will come this fall, when legislators again take up the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage -- but allowing parallel civil unions -- that they initially approved in March 2004. We are optimistic that the state's elected representatives will accept the thousands of individual commitments made in the past year and vote down the proposal. The legislators need not fear constituent anger: Every one of the legislators who voted against the ban last year was reelected; and three additional supporters of gay marriage won special House elections this spring.
It strains the imagination to see how a year of gay marriage has caused the state any discernible harm. Supporters even point to a modest economic boost due to tourism and other local spending on gay weddings. But the reason to toast today's wedding anniversaries has little to do with tax revenues and everything to do with the riches that come from extending civil rights to every citizen.
For more on the prospects of that amendment see this Globe article:
The erosion of support for the amendment, which won preliminary approval by four votes in March 2004, is caused by several factors, including the considerable clout of new House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, a supporter of gay marriage; a net gain of four gay-marriage supporters in recent legislative elections; and increasing acceptance of gay marriage among the public....
A Boston Globe poll in March indicated that 56 percent of those surveyed supported gay marriage, 37 percent were opposed, and 7 percent were unsure. By comparison, a Globe poll conducted in spring 2004 indicated that 40 percent of those surveyed supported gay marriage. Those who either wanted to ban gay marriage and replace it with civil unions, or who wanted neither, represented 45 percent of those queried.
Like the majority of those surveyed, Lees, the state Senate's ranking Republican, said the relative lack of apparent societal damage caused by the onset of same-sex marriage has given him pause -- even though he was a coauthor of the amendment before the Legislature.
An even more recent poll (pdf) was comissioned by MassEquality and the results are great:
By a margin of 62% to 35%, voters say that gay or lesbian couples should have the right to enter into a legal marriage...fully 61% approve, and only 37% disapprove of the court’s decision to permit same-sex couples to marry...Fully 36% say legalized “gay marriage” has had a positive impact on Massachusetts, while compared to only 13% who say it has had a negative impact...with 68% saying that gay marriage has had a positive impact on gays and lesbians in Massachusetts (10% say it has had a negative impact), and 53% say it has had a positive impact on children being raised by gay and lesbian couples, compared to 17% who say it has had a negative impact...When asked about whether it is better for marriage or civil unions to be available to gay or lesbian couples, a majority of voters opt for marriage over civil unions by a margin of 50% to 32%, with 12% saying neither. This is substantial increase in support for marriage from the 38% to 23% margin (with 32% saying neither) in 2003.
The best thing I can leave you with today is a must read op-ed in the Globe by Anne and Chad Gifford who finally had the great joy of seeing their son marry the man he loves. Please read it, but I will leave you with this brief excerpt:
Our initial period of concern and confusion and the subsequent learning has, at times, been tumultuous. But how could we as parents not do all we could to embrace our child? How could we not do all we could to strengthen our family? Many object to equal marriage because it represents an attack on family. This is tragic and wrong. Family means love and support for all, not the marginalization of one member of the family.
We have now had one year of legal same-sex marriage in our state. Despite predictions, we have not witnessed any threat to so-called ''traditional marriage." There has not been an attack on family, and almost all would admit that very little has changed. In fact, however, something has changed. Many of our citizens have experienced the joy of marriage for the first time where the laws of our state have said, ''You are equal." We have seen that joy in our son. To take that away would be an injustice. It would be devastating for our family and the real values we believe family should represent.