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Profile Information

Name: Manny Goldstein
Gender: Male
Hometown: Greater Boston
Home country: USA
Current location: Remulak, as far as I can tell
Member since: Tue Aug 30, 2005, 08:44 AM
Number of posts: 34,589

Journal Archives

And here we are.

I remember where I was when I heard that my state’s Supreme Judicial Court had ruled that marriage could not be denied to same-sex couples under our state constitution: it was a grey November dusk, and I was driving along the Waltham Commons on my way back to the office for some night work.

I had zero idea that this ruling was in the works (my bad!), although to be fair I don’t think most other Bay Staters did, either. Out of the blue, here it was.

My first reaction was a full-body smile: “Hey! That’s amazing!

A moment later: “Uh-oh, this will not go well.

I grew up in the 1960s and 70s, during most of which time homosexuality was considered a bona fide mental illness in the official diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association. While I didn’t think much about it, I too vaguely suspected there was something wrong with it. I never knew an openly gay person until college, when I found out that one of my older fraternity brothers was gay. My first reaction was anger: “Why didn’t he tell me!” A moment later: “Ah, he’s a cool guy, he’s a lot like me, so what’s the big deal?” Enlightenment in under five seconds. It turned out that a bunch of my fraternity brothers were gay, some out, some closeted. It was all good with the guys in my house. But even at my college not all fraternities were so enlightened, and the campus LGBT group was tiny.

When our state court issued its decision that November day, I assumed that there would be a lot of angry people, and much yelling and gnashing of teeth. And, certainly, it was not a popular ruling at first: polling at the time showed that only one-third of the the state approved, while fully half were against it. Governor Romney, who had become a right-wing lunatic upon taking office, declared the ruling “wrongly decided and deeply mistaken” in one op-ed, and vowed, along with some members of our state legislature, to amend the state constitution in order to force the court to re-repress the LGBT community.

The plans for said constitutional downgrade were ambushed by the reality that ensued: We saw beaming people get married to beaming people of the same gender. We saw angry handfuls of the outraged, faces red and spittle spraying in hateful screams holding hateful signs, and the good people of our Commonwealth thought: “Are those the people we really want to be?

No, it wasn’t who we wanted to be.

Within a year, the poll numbers flipped. The politicians (besides hoping-to-be-President Romney, of course) STFUed, and it was a done deal.

Over the years, other states here and there have decided that they didn’t want to be those people either. And as of today, while those people still exist in our country in significant numbers, we are no longer a nation of those people. The unthinkable of 12 years ago became thinkable, and now the law of the land. We are a nation where there is more freedom and love today than there was yesterday.

Here we are!

As throughout our history, we Americans owe a profound debt of gratitude to the many unreasonable people who dragged us here. To Mary Bonauto, the unreasonable lawyer who convinced both our state court and the Supreme Court to do the right thing. To unreasonable former Massachusetts Chief Justice Margaret Marshall and her three unreasonable fellow justices who allowed themselves to be convinced, even though they must have known a @#$%storm could follow. To the unreasonable activists who refused to sit down and shut up when even many in the LGBT community warned them that they were playing with fire. To every unreasonable American who knew right from wrong, and helped to thaw hearts and cultivate a broader desire for justice.

Our country has come far; yet it has far to go. But on days like today, I think it will go.
Posted by MannyGoldstein | Fri Jun 26, 2015, 06:08 PM (8 replies)

Your deep knowledge of my past is flattering.

Creepy, yes, but mostly flatteting.

So, perhaps you can recall: when was I a Republican?
Posted by MannyGoldstein | Sun Jun 7, 2015, 08:33 AM (1 replies)
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