Moving Forward and Continuing the Process (May 24, 2005)
Moving forward and continuing the process: I support continuing to move forward in the process of defining marriage in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I am encouraged by the progress that was made in a Constitutional Convention held in March of 2004. A proposed Constitutional Amendment was approved by a majority of the legislators. To continue moving forward in the process of defining marriage in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts a vote is required in a Constitutional Convention by the current Massachusetts Legislature. A second vote of approval by the current Massachusetts State Legislature would allow this proposed Constitutional Amendment to be placed on the ballot in 2006 allowing the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to also participate in the process of defining marriage in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Voting by the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on the definition of marriage in the Commonwealth will allow them to participate in the governing of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Following the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that same-sex couples may legally marry Legislatures in 11 states have allowed their citizens to vote on a definition of marriage within their borders. Participation in the government by those being governed is the foundation of the democratic process, the heritage of our Commonwealth and our country, the United States.
The main argument by those advocating for this change in the definition of marriage, allowing same-sex couples to marry is that these couples are denied the rights and benefits that came from marriage when they are not allowed to marry. The proposed Constitutional Amendment that was approved would provide for same-sex couples to be eligible for these rights and benefits. Allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions with all the rights and benefits of marriage will accomplish this. With the passage of this proposed Constitutional Amendment Massachusetts will join Vermont and Connecticut in allowing same-sex couples the rights and benefits they are asking for.
A recent event by a chief proponent in the Massachusetts State Senate advocating for changing the definition of marriage may have caught many by surprise. I found myself not surprised but sadden and disappointed. The Senator succeeded in getting an additional proposed Constitutional Amendment, H653, placed on the Constitutional Convention calendar, for August 24, 2005. This same Constitutional Amendment, H653 that defines marriage as the relationship between one man and one woman, and bans any other legal equivalent to marriage (i.e. civil unions) was the original Constitutional Amendment proposed by those opposing same-sex marriages. It was discussed and voted on in a Constitutional Convention held in 2004. After extended discussion it was not accepted and not voted for approval by the Massachusetts State Legislature. Rather a comprise Constitutional Amendment proposed by the Senate leaders was voted on and approved. This successful proposed Constitutional Amendment defines marriage as the relationship between one man and one woman, and also establishes civil unions for same-sex couples with all the rights and benefits of marriage.
The Senator hopes by placing this previously rejected proposed amendment, H653, on the calendar for the August 24 Constitutional Convention it would lead to a review and possible rejection of the effort to write discrimination into the Massachusetts Constitution by defining marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman. He also hopes by reintroducing this amendment, H653, it will divide those who oppose both same-sex marriage. Although his intention is to allow for discussion of same-sex marriage in the upcoming Constitutional Convention as I have previously written in a handout Meaningful, Open and Honest Discussion presented to you in March of 2004 and on April 26, 2005 those advocating for changing the definition of marriage to allow same-sex couples to marry in my opinion have yet to support and defend their position. In that handout, I presented my position as a series of questions and provided brief answers. So, I am saddened and disappointed that though their best intentions are to allow for further discussion those advocating for changing the definition of marriage to allow same-sex couples to marry, they have yet to provide a response to these questions. Also, they have yet to address the question that with this change in the definition of marriage, is it one of legally sanctioning relationships or the furthering of legally sanctioning behavior, the case for the latter is much stronger. Will the addition of this previously rejected proposed Constitution Amendment, H653, to the upcoming Constitutional Convention result in moving forward and continuing the process in defining marriage in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts?
Massachusetts by judicial decree is the only state in the United States to allow same-sex couples to marry. But not all homosexuals support assimilating homosexuality into our society through same-sex marriage, homosexuals serving openly in the military, positively portraying homosexuals in public media, and the various means in the education system (Gay Straight Alliances). There are homosexuals who want sexual liberation, taking pride in being sexual outlaws/rebels to the societal norms for human sexuality. The judicial decree allowing same-sex marriage was ruled on a rational basis, but could not another rational basis be ruled should in another legal challenge the arguments for sexual liberation be presented instead of the arguments for assimilation? You may find further information about the assimilation/liberation of homosexuality on www.banap.net.
I choose to self-identify as a former homosexual. Also, I ask for affirmation and validation as a former homosexual. This is different than tolerance and acceptance. To affirm and validate requires spending time in relationship with me. I am continually surprised that people want to talk about me instead of talking with me;. This is the case when I came under investigation by 3 departments at Harvard University. They investigated me after a story written by a Harvard University student appeared in The Harvard Crimson’s 15 Minutes. These investigations have appeared to be finished when in a statement by two Harvard officials, one being deputy general counsel, emphasized Harvard’s protection of free speech. Not one of these departments or officials has contacted me since these investigations took place in October of 2001.
On May 24 I will be leaving to spend 5 weeks in the Ukraine. The past 3 years I have spent the entire summer teaching English in the Ukraine. This year I am making plans for two trips. I will return in December to spend the winter holidays with a very special friend Angela and her daughter Rita. You may see pictures at www.as4us.org. After I return from the Ukraine, on June 29, I will again be passing out information and hope to be able to meet with members of the Massachusetts State Legislature.