Same-sex marriage is civil rights issue

On Jan 2, at yet another Constitutional Convention to address an anti-gay-marriage amendment, I watched supporters of this amendment cheering with heartfelt conviction that they were doing the right thing. And even as I read signs like, “No special rights for sodomizers,” I cannot believe that hatred is behind those opposing same-sex marriages. I believe that the unwillingness to change traditions and established institutions is much less about what people believe and more about what people are afraid of or do not understand.

For those of you who do not believe in same-sex marriage, I beg you to give us a chance. Let us show you that our lives are just like yours. We want the same things for our families. Just give us a chance to show you that our being married does not harm your marriage in any way.

For those of you who feel that this issue should be left up to the voters, I beg you to remember that just because something may be a popular or majority belief doesn’t make it right. Leaving the constitution open to the voters assumes that every person is voting for the overall good and equal rights of our society. It does not take into consideration the emotions of having to change firmly established beliefs or understand something that is foreign to some people. It does not take into consideration the moral and religious padding around belief systems. If lawmakers had left civil rights initiatives such as desegregation and interracial marriage to a popular vote, those efforts would have been defeated, plain and simple.

Yes. The gay-marriage debate is getting old. We all want to move on to other pressing issues in our society. But I will continue to stand up against any anti-gay-marriage initiative for as long as it takes. Why? Because. This isn’t a “gay” thing. Nor is it a “Massachusetts” thing. This is a giant step forward toward civil equalities for everyone.

Carla Imperial
Jamaica Plain

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