Dear Representative Vallee,
We urge you to vote against putting gay marriage on the ballot. Marriage is a civil rights issue that we do not feel should be put to a popular vote. It would be just as wrong to put a question legalizing race-based discrimination on the ballot as any question legalizing discrimination based on sexual orientation. The voting in either case would be based on either religious beliefs which have nothing to do with civil rights, or out of misguided bigotry and fear.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter, and for your many years of hard and effective work on behalf of all the residents of your legislative district.
Phil and Chris Evans
"American acceptance of gay rights is at its highest level in 30 years, according to a national poll released Tuesday.
A Gallup Poll shows that 59 percent of Americans believe that 'homosexual relations between consenting adults' should be legal.
...Support for same-sex marriage also rose to an all-time high. Though supporters are still the minority, 46 percent of respondents believe marriages between same-sex couples should be legally validated.
The most support comes in relation to equality in the workplace, with 89 percent believing that gays 'should have equal rights in terms of job opportunities.'"
Among those 18-34 years of age, 75% say it’s acceptable while 23% do not.
Among those aged 35-54, it’s still 58% acceptable; 39% not.
You have to go to the 55+ age group to find a majority disapproving, and even there the level of acceptance is quite high (45% acceptable; 51% not)."*
"Today's vote by the Massachusetts Legislature to reject a proposed gay marriage ban will likely cause some ripples in the presidential race. The candidate with the most at stake is likely Mitt Romney, who fought hard for the ban. Romney today is already reaffirming his call for a federal gay marriage ban. In the past, Romney has called rival John McCain ‘disingenuous’ for opposing gay marriage but also opposing a federal ban. Will we see more of that rhetoric now?
Here's Romney's full statement today: ‘Today's vote by the State Legislature is a regrettable setback in our efforts to defend traditional marriage. Unfortunately, our elected representatives decided that the voice of the people did not need to be heard in this debate. It is now even more important that we pass a Constitutional amendment protecting traditional marriage. Marriage is an institution that goes to the heart of our society, and our leaders can no longer abdicate their responsibility.’
UPDATE: McCain's campaign just put out a statement taking aim at Romney for having opposed a different proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage in 2002, though that proposed amendment went further than this one, seeking to ban not just same-sex weddings but domestic-partner benefits as well.
‘In typical Mitt Romney fashion, the former Massachusetts governor was against a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage before he was for it,’ McCain spokesman Danny Diaz said in the statement. ‘Romney continues to prove that he is someone that will say and do anything in pursuit of the nomination.’
Abortion, immigration, gay marriage -- what's next, McCain and Romney duking it out over the final episode of ‘The Sopranos?’"
"I know from listening to my constituents, since I first became Senator this year that this vote, the vote I take today, is the right vote for the people I serve. I have been most impressed by the number of individuals who have called me and asked me to change my vote because they have changed their minds. One grandmother told me she had changed her mind and wanted me to change my vote in case one of her grandchildren grew up to be gay or lesbian. She did not want any of her grandchildren to be denied the right to marry the person they love. This is exactly the legacy we will leave to generations beyond us, and the example we can set for the nation and, I daresay the world, which is certainly paying attention to what we do and say here today."
"Same-sex marriage opponents yesterday vowed to unseat four lawmakers who campaigned on a promise of supporting a constitutional ban but abandoned that position on Thursday, helping gay rights advocates win a historic victory at the Constitutional Convention."
"Proponents said they will also eventually look to open the door to couples from other states to marry in Massachusetts. [Marc] Solomon [campaign director of MassEquality] said there is overwhelming support in the Legislature to repeal the 1913 law that prohibits couples from out of state from marrying in Massachusetts if the union would not be legal in their own state.
'The next step is to sit down with legislative leaders and the governor's people and talk about when it makes sense to advance that piece of legislation,' said Solomon, adding that there are no immediate plans for such a meeting."*
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