Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Golden Rule

I recently moved to Massachusetts, proud to be living in the first state in Union to recognize that there is no legal impediment to two people--regardless of gender--joining their lives in marriage. Folks may have their own moral, religious, and/or philosophical perspectives--it is still a free country, after all--but from a purely legal standpoint there's no reason heterosexual couples and homosexual couples should be treated differently.

Today the state legislature voted to move forward a proposed ammendment to the language of the state constitution which would define marriage as between one man and one woman. I'm hearted to note that the vote was 61 for to 132 against, but still the measure needed only 50 votes to move forward.

I wish they'd read my recent editorial in the Cape Cod Times. (You have to scroll down a bit to get there, but it's there: "Two dimensions of marriage.") Or, if not me, I wish they'd listened to our state's Governor-elect, Deval Patrick, who said:
"Above all, this is a question of conscience. Using the initiative process to give a minority fewer freedoms than the majority, and to inject the state into fundamentally private affairs, is a dangerous precedent, and an unworthy one for this Commonwealth," he said in a statement. "I hope by whatever means appropriate, the constitutional convention today ends this debate."

But it won't, of course. As with the debates around abolition, and women's sufferage, and civil rights for African Americans, this debate will continue. Why, though, in this nation which so many continue to call a "Christian nation" is it so hard for folks to put into practice what Jesus taught as the heart and soul of his message: do unto others as you would have others do unto you? (Or, as another religious tradition puts it, what you would not have someone do to you, do not do that to someone else.)

Yours in Gassho,

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