I’ve always been of the opinion that the only way gay marriage will come about, and stay, was when it was generally accepted by the people. And the best way that would happen would be incrementally, in stages, with concessions and acceptances done over time.
Conversely, I said that if it was imposed by fiat, there would be a backlash and would set back the cause. Actions such as the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s just proclaiming it legal would end up in opponents digging in their heels and resisting any compromise, even perhaps looking to undo past steps.
It looks like I might have been wrong about that, and I’m glad to see it.
While those opposed to gay marriage continue their petition drive to put the question before the Massachusetts voters, they’re also putting forth laws that will enshrine some rights into law for gay couples. They’re proposing bills that recognize gay couples and extend to them some of the benefits of married couples — such as hospital visitation, transfer of property, burial, and health care proxy, among others.
It’s a good move, both ethically and politically. It’s an attempt to depolarize the issue, to soften the rhetoric and moderate the tone of “you’re only doing this because you hate gays” criticism they’ve been getting.
Naturally, the gay activists are calling it a “sham” and other unpleasant things. But I hope that regardless of how the petition goes (and it looks like it’ll be smothered to death in the legislature, which has never missed an opportunity to show how little it thinks of the people who pay their salaries), I hope it passes.
Crap. This is twice in one day I’ve supported the Massachusetts legislature passing a new law. I know I’m suffering from a rather nasty summer cold, but I must be sicker than I thought.