Today’s loss was not completely unexpected. But, in some ways, it was still a surprise. Despite the fact that I thought the Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling would likely result in a vote today, I wrote one of my last blogs about how we were giving too much attention to gay issues. My mind, which understood the implications of the SJC’s ruling, wasn’t quite in sync with my heart - which knows there are hundreds of issues that should be more important, if not for the fact that a very basic right is still under attack in Massachusetts. It’s funny how minds and hearts work.
But my heart was wrong, because 62 state legislators decided the fighting over gay marriage hasn’t been bitter enough. They’ve decided we need to air out our differences for yet another year, when this issue should have been dead and settled. They’ve decided that it’s okay to put human rights up to a vote, where a mere majority can decide something as personal as marriage.
However, the ante has been upped. Foes of equality have forced the issue, masked by the never-investigated fraud that pushed their way unto Beacon Hill. It’s time for some supporters of equality to start to do the work necessary to ultimately defeat opponents of equality for good.
I don’t want to fight for my rights anymore. Fighting for my rights has only lead to gridlock, heartbreak, tears and nightmares. I’m sick of trying to convince people that everyone deserves to love the one they’re with. But I’m not willing to go back to the way things were either, where it was okay to be gay - as long as you shut up about it. No, it isn’t time to give up - it’s time to change tactics.
It’s time to take the fight to them. The time to merely educate is over. If state legislators haven’t learned by now, they lack the skills necessary to serve.
The time is now to take on every opponent of marriage equality. State legislators who voted against marriage equality need to understand that their jobs can be very, very temporary. They need to understand the concept of retribution. They need to understand that they’re about to be fired.
Enough is enough - if people are going to continue to argue about marriage equality, we’re going to take them out come primary time. It’s democracy at its finest. We’re not going to be polite, we’re not going to be timid - we’re going to be the Donald Trumps in the room, firing people who just don’t get it.
For all the talk about upholding the constitution, our state cannot tolerate state legislators willing to uphold inequality. We will not tolerate legislators who are willing to uphold hatred and bigotry. We will not tolerate legislators who think their love is more deserving than the love between two men or two women. Love knows no gender: people who can’t accept that do not belong among the elected officials of this state. It’s time they be fired.
Gay-right supporters have already had some success. Multiple opponents of marriage equality have lost reelection. No supporters of marriage equality have lost. Do opponents think they’re on the winning side? Hardly. But there’s so much more potential to make our point - it’s time we create a unified campaign, bringing together all of our skills.
Where does today lead us? The people among MassEquality and other, similar organizations need to do the work they’ve done all these years - convince the legislature that they don’t want to be on the wrong side of history. They need to continue to hold the rallies and push the legislator in the right direction. People who can be taught need to learn.
But some state legislators just need to go away. There are plenty of jobs available to help in the effort. Anyone willing to be drafted?
Many organizations across the state have resources aplenty to take on this task. It’s time to pick some weak state legislators now and start working on fielding primary opponents to defeat them. Homophobic representatives like Joyce Spiliotis in Peabody have never won a decisive primary victory and we cannot stand for their service any longer. It’s time they lose, once and for all. When we start a unified campaign with select targets, others will quickly get the message - whether we win or lose. But with our money, ability to spread information and vast array of volunteers - we’re going to win. Big.
For groups like Knowthyneighbor.org, MassEquality, Marriage Equality Alliance of the South Coast and dozens of others, the tasks are obvious. But what role can bloggers, readers and regular people take on? Beyond organizing, opining, lobbying and doing the thousands of things we do everyday - there’s little to no information available on State Senators and Representatives. Their state websites are next to useless and there are few organizations keeping track of all their legislative votes and positions on easy-to-access databases (hey KTN, can we get a database on that?). Readers and bloggers need to start digging up the dirt we’ll need to defeat our legislative opponents. We need to start driving the news and forcing the issue. We need to advance the movement.
Most of all, we need recourse. We need to personally end this debate and ensure equality for one and all.