, Gloucester, MA


November 28, 2012

Letter: Turning the corner on true equality

To the Editor:

What a difference eight years can make, especially in relation to the issue of marriage equality for same-gender couples.

In the summer of 2004, I was living in Provincetown and occasionally co-hosting a call in talk show on WOMR, Provincetown’s community radio station. That was the year the Supreme Court of Massachusetts ruled that denying same gender couples the right to marry violated the state’s constitution, and it was a heady time in P-Town.

CNN and Fox News camera crews swarmed all over Town Hall as same gender couples from across the nation came to gay America’s seaside “hometown” to take out marriage licenses and tie the knot. One morning while on the air, a caller asked me why I seemed so ambivalent about such a historic moment.

I responded by saying, “I am happy for gay couples who want to marry, but I also know Karl Rove is ecstatic that liberal Massachusetts has handed him the best red meat issue with which to fire up the GOP base in November since Roe v. Wade in 1973.”

Well, the phone lines lit up like the proverbial Christmas tree. Callers were outraged that I was raining on Massachusetts’ gay marriage parade.

Back then, I believed gay activists pushing for full “marriage equality” were misguided. I believed most Americans were not hateful homophobes but I also believed they were not ready to redefine the institution of marriage to include same gender couples. That was why I supported civil unions.

I was wrong. I realized that in 2009. That was the year the governor of Hawaii, a Republican woman, vetoed Hawaii’s civil unions bill because it was, according to her, the legalization of gay marriage in every way except for calling it marriage.

Things have changed dramatically in a relatively short amount of time.

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