Time to move past same-sex marriage legal debates

The first week of legal same-sex marriage, four photos of our wedding and a wonderful synopsis of our 30 years together appeared in local newspapers.

On Dec. 27, the Massachusetts Legislature was affirmed in doing the right thing regarding same-sex marriage as the Supreme Judicial Court made it clear it would not interfere with the Legislature’s Jan. 2 Constitutional Convention and not force them to vote on the discriminatory petition to take away the rights of marriage for same-sex couples.

Individual rights should never be compromised with a popular vote in this or any other case. Our Constitution has upheld that belief from the very beginning here in Massachusetts. Legislators and the majority of folks in this state know it’s past our time, and we need to move on to actual serious issues confronting all of us, such as education, healthcare, violence, etc.

All marriages are civil and enhance the meaning of bringing people together as a family. This issue will come up politically with our outgoing governor trying everything he can to stop same-sex marriage because he’s running for president and needs the far-to-the-right voters around the country.

The politics of fear are almost at an end in Massachusetts with Deval Patrick about to take real issues—not fabricated myths about who is righteous and pious and who is not—to the people. Religious beliefs are very much a part of most people’s lives, including ours; but, we need not confuse personal beliefs with the rights of all Americans to have equal access to public institutions such as civil marriage. Mostly, it is again time to remind our brothers and sisters that we do have serious issues to come together on. We need not spend millions of taxpayers’ monies to fight any longer over whether God intended for same-sex couples to marry. It’s not our public choice; it’s our private religious differences and, therefore needs to be separated as a church vs. state non-issue. Marriage equality doesn’t hurt anyone; it only strengthens our bonds as one community, the human race.

We would like to thank all our friends we’ve met through this process—family, friends by choice and legislators as well. We’ve never doubted our own Sen. Marion Walsh, as she’s never doubted us.

We welcome 2007 with great hope and continued hard work to keep all of our energies flowing from the grassroots started two years ago and continue it as we take part in a political process that has welcomed us as individuals. The concept of “by the people” is one that our new Governor-Elect Patrick truly continues to stress that we embrace. Blessings to all in this New Year.

Robert M. Mason
Chet W. Smith III

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