October 22nd, 2003



I took a two hour lunch today to go with tirinian and harrock to a rally for the Civil Marriage Bill about to be put before the Massachusetts Legislature. ("On work time?", my mother wanted to know, when I got back. I figure I take enough half-hour lunches that they can spare me an extra hour once in a while.)

Section 1
Chapter 207 is hereby amended by adding the following new section:--
Section 37A. Any person who otherwise meets the eligibility requirements of this chapter may marry any other eligible person regardless of gender.

I'm not sure whether it felt productive or not. All the people there were in favor, of course. If people who were against it had showed up, we probably wouldn't have changed their mind - this seems like the sort of thing most people are stubborn about. And, on the opposite side, H3190:

It being the public policy of this Commonwealth to protect the unique relationship of marriage in order to promote, among other goals, the stability and welfare of society and the best interest of children, only the union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Massachusetts. Any other relationship shall not be recognized as a marriage or its legal equivalent.

There you have the two camps. I'm in mine, but there's always the other one, flags waving and rhetoric high. To promote the best interest of children. Like making sure that one of your parents can't be sure they can legally take you to the hospital if you get sick, that's in your best interest. Or ensuring your parents can't be married to each other. (Or perhaps it's to ensure that your children can't marry inappropriate people?). Bah.

But am I personally actually helping change that, or am I just muttering darkly to myself (and to other people who agree with me?)

I suppose this is my standard political dissatisfaction. Like voting for president, I don't have a great sense that my participation mattered. (In this case, though, my epsilon was probably larger - there were maybe two hundred people there. 1/200th is small, but not infinitesmal.)

Actually, I think the most personally productive I was was the conversation with the sausage vendor at Park Street on the way back to work - he asked about the sticker I was wearing ("Civil Marriage is a Civil Right"); I talked some and he seemed mostly agreeful-but-not-really-thought-much-about-it. He did say he got married last year, to someone from another country, and a reason they got legally married was so she could live in the US, so he understood all about the importance of legal marriage status. So maybe I converted one person.

I'll count that as accomplishment for the day. One little step at a time.
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