Friday, December 8, 2006


"People of integrity don't force their beliefs on others, they make sure that others can live by different beliefs they may have," Mitt Romney, 1994
I am not a Captain.
I am not legally permitted to be the commanding officer of a vessel. But you can trust me to plot a course, steer the boat, set sails, and even enact repairs if needed. Hand reef and steer. I would be Captain without benefit of title. Now, for many people, that’s just fine. A lot of folk own their boat and act as “Skipper” without ever even knowing that there’s an option to be an official, Coast Guard-certified Captain. Because of certain circumstances (owners who wouldn’t log hours, being at sea at time of testing, returning to port and getting a real job, etc.) I never got a Captain’s license.
You can make a darned good skipper without a license. It’s a legal issue, simply semantics to those unfamiliar with maritime law. But I should’ve gotten my license. I would be more legitimate. I enjoy being Mate of the Third Watch, but Captain would get me a better salary, and … respect.
There’s a problem with a legal issue here on The Beach. The legal issue of marriage. There’s a gang that believes gay people shouldn’t have the same rights as straight church-going types. Y’see, the Massachusetts Constitution never said “Gays can’t marry.” So gay couples can marry. And do. But some people, whether because they believe biblical injunctions against homosexuality, or whether they reject the othered as a general rule, want to change the Commonwealth’s Constitution by taking away one group's right to marry. They think that the government should recognize a special kind of ticket for gay couples, and a specialer, more legitimate kind of ticket for straight couples.
The gay marriage opponents wanted to put a question to ban gay marriage on the next ballot. “Let the people decide,” they say. They argue that the legislature should be fined for not voting on their proposal that gay marriage should be banned.
Well, they’re wrong.
The legislature chose to recess and ignore their constitutionally unsound request. Plus, the Legislative Branch is only providing what it‘s there to provide: a "check and balance" to the politician in the Executive office (see above) who’s using this issue cynically and politically. Because even he knows you can’t leave a civil right to popular vote.
Tomorrow, the misguided who insist they have the right to take away others’ rights are going to stand at New Bedford City Hall, beat their bibles (or whatever) and hide behind their ill-conceived notion of a democratic theocracy, flagrantly and proudly indicating their basic misunderstanding of The Process. As usual, their most dignified response is jumping up and down, stamping their little feet on the deck.
And hope that some people who love each other, pay taxes, raise children, and contribute to society get to stand on the dock.
I originally wrote a big long diatribe against these individuals, but I’ll avoid pirating their selfish incivility. In fact, I plan to watch their "demonstration" and try to understand their desire to waste their energies.

I’ll be standing across the street with my arms crossed.
Because the temptation to throw something may be too strong.


Karie said...

Please stand together in peace, and for equality, at New Bedford City Hall, 10:30am tomorrow!

Bring a sign. Bring a friend.

Civil Rights cannot ever be determined by popular opinion.

karie said...