Saturday, March 24, 2007

Trouble Ahead in Massachusetts

The new State Senate President, Therese Murray, will allow a proposed marriage amendment to move forward:

(Boston, Massachusetts) The new President of the Massachusetts Senate has announced she will not try to block a vote on a proposed amendment that would end same-sex marriage in the state.
An opponent of the amendment, Murray said she would work with state LGBT civil rights groups to defeat the measure, but said she would not use her power to prevent the issue from coming to a vote.

To amend the state constitution a joint session of the House and Senate must approve a proposed amendment in two consecutive sessions of the Legislature then put the issue to voters. Only 50 votes in the joint session are needed for a proposed amendment
to advance.

Last year, before being procedurally tabled, the proposed amendment got 61 votes. Murray says she'll work with LGBT groups to get the necessary votes, but that she won't block a vote. There may be hope elsewhere though:

State Sen. Jarrett T. Barrios (D), who is openly gay, said that even though Murray favors allowing a vote there could still be a way of derailing it before it could be put to voters.

"There are many ways that things can go forward as we saw with the health care amendment," Barrios told the Associated Press. Lawmakers voted to send that question to a study last year, effectively killing it.

Civil rights are not things to be left to majority rule. What would the south look like today if voters had been allowed to decide the rights of African Americans?

In many places, the tyranny of the majority would have LGBT people in reorientation camps or swinging at the ends of ropes. I often think of the scene in the Borat movie where Cohen interviews an old man at a rodeo. The man was thrilled with the idea of killing us. That's where LGBT people are at in parts of the USA.

PostBlog: OK, this is a tangent, but I had to know. It turns out that the old man I wrote of above is rodeo producer Bobby Rowe. That may have been in the movie, but I wasn't watching with a note pad in hand. I found a Salon piece (it's premium so you have to click through an annoying ad) on the film. It gives Rowe's film quote and his later reaction to being exposed by Cohen:

After Borat declares, "We hang homosexuals in my country!" Rowe smirkingly responds: "That's what we're trying to do here."

Rowe told Salon that he'd agreed to let Borat sing, believing the story that Borat was a Kazakh journalist traveling across the country. Rowe says he requested a sample track, but was sent a blank CD. And what about those anti-gay comments? Rowe, who says he hasn't seen the film, didn't disavow them, but instead offered a curious rationale: "As long as [homosexuals] don't mess with me and get me involved, if that's their choice, just have at it. Just don't come in my household and try to demand, as they're doing now, all sorts of things. All this marriage and this mess. If you want to go live together, go live together, but don't drag everyone else into it. It's, like, before you could just pump your gas, but the thieves ruined it for everyone. Now everyone has to go pay for their gas first. Homosexuals, they want their rights for marriage and all this stuff, and they want respectability. If you want to live that life, live that life, but don't involve the whole rest of the country."

Is Rowe concerned about how he comes off in the film? "I'm not really worried about it," he says. "It can't be so bad that I can't survive. No one's coming and trying to eat me."

Eat you? Hardly. I wouldn't kiss you with lips on a ten foot pole.

It took me a few minutes, but I figured out how having to prepay for gas and the struggle for gay marriage possibly fit together in this bigot's mind. Allowing gays to marry would ruin it for everyone; gays are trying to "steal" marriage, hence the need to pass amendments, or hang us: the equivalents of prepaying for gas. Now I know how evil people logically relate things. It's frightening.