Boston, MA - After weeks of fevered debates, the Massachusetts
Legislature has yet to rule on the different-sex marriage ban. Various
forms of the ban have proposed, but Representatives have yet to reach
House Speaker Thomas Finneran, an openly straight Democrat, spoke
passionately against the amendment. "This debate shouldn't
be about what religion or political group people may think is right.
I love the woman who has been my partner and helped me to raise
our two daughters, and I hardly think it's the government's place
to tell me that our partnership is invalid."
"I almost lost a member of my family last night when I voted
for the ban," said State Senator Jarrett T. Barrios, "But
just because one of my family members is straight doesn't mean
that I won't do what I think is right.
Statistically, nearly half of all different-sex marriages end
in divorce. Divorce has a deep negative effects on children, which
has led some critics to insist that dissolving different-sex marriages
is essential to promoting effective child-welfare.
As Democratic Senator Brian Joyce explains, "We are more
likely to achieve peace in the Middle East this century than we
are to have men and women understand one another in any substantial
Many arguments were made that the sanctity of marriage would be
threatened if different-sex marriage is allowed to continue. Besides
the high divorce rates, domestic violence commonly occurs in different-sex
Representative Philip Travis argues the ban is unfair. "You
may have straight friends," warns Travis, "you may have
straight colleagues, you may even have straight family members.
They just want the same legal rights as you and I. History has
shown that 'Together but Unequal' does not work."
Unfortunately, for Travis, George W. Bush announced last month
his intent to support a constitutional amendment to ban different-sex
"After more than two millenniums of human experience, we
know that men and women cannot, will not get along," said
the president. "We have seen too much domestic violence, divorce,
and angry discussions over the positions of toilet seats. We must
set a clear policy by stopping it once and for all."
House Speaker Finneran believes that Bush's comments may be the
result of a misguided heterophobia. Says Finneran, "I never
imagined this would happen two weeks ago when Bush announced that
he was gay."
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