Just when I thought I was somewhat safe in the liberal and tolerant and progressive bastion that is known as Massachusetts, here come the very powerfully organized religious right - this time a conservative Baptist group - denouncing same sex marriage and other social ills.
You see the state has on it's November ballot a proposal to the public concerning amending the state constitution to prohibit same sex marriage, even though the state supreme court ruled 4-3 in it's favor a couple of years ago. They are trying to rally conservatives in Massachusetts to vote against it. I'm not sure where the latest polls stand on the issue, but it doesn't look good for them. Thank God.
Also, they are doing every thing they can to mobilize Christian conservatives around the country to help fight what they see as the good fight. Money from out of state is coming in to help fund their agenda against same sex marriage.
Meanwhile, Governor Mitt Romney wants his name associated with conservatives and conservative values as he moves towards the national scene; i.e. prepping for a run for President in '08 me thinks. He's about as lame duck a politician right now as can be.
As an Independently registered voter I see this as a purely secular and civic ruling that is pro-individual - part of a decades long trend since World War II that has liberated millions and millions of Americans. Remember separation of church and state. No church or temple has to honor this civic ruling in any way. It's not about them.
Anyway, here's what they are up to. Sorry that this article is so long.
"Broadcast condemns same-sex marriage"
Romney urges evangelical fight
By Maria Cramer, Globe Staff | October 16, 2006
Governor Mitt Romney joined social conservatives and religious leaders at a downtown Boston church last night for a nationwide broadcast that condemned same-sex marriage and called on evangelicals to fight what they see as a threat to Christian beliefs and values.
In a cavernous, gilded room festooned with American flags, speakers described how a ``homosexual agenda" was interfering with the constitutional rights of same-sex marriage opponents to express their dissent and religious freedom.
Romney, a Republican who may run for president in 2008, told several hundred people at the Tremont Temple Baptist Church, ``Every child deserves a mother and a father."
``Today, there are some people who would like to establish a single religion, the religion of secularism," he said to thunderous applause at the event, dubbed ``Liberty Sunday," and which organizers said might have reached close to 80 million people.
On Tremont Street, across from the church, dozens of supporters of same-sex marriage held a candlelight vigil to protest the broadcast.
Many carried signs, some of which read ``No Discrimination in the Constitution" and ``Religious Liberty is not a License for Bigotry."
Amy Lippincott, 22, a third-year student, attended the protest with the Northeastern University Bisexual Lesbian and Gay Association. She called the message that gay rights infringe on religious rights the ``most virulently homophobic thing I've come across in some time."
In a statement, the same-sex marriage defender group MassEquality criticized Romney and the event. ``It's ironic that, adjacent to Boston's Freedom Trail, Mitt Romney is teaming up with the most right-wing voices in the country to demonize and belittle loving couples and families who live in the state he purports to govern," the group said.
Stanley Griffith, president of Greater Boston Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, called Romney's message ``a shabby effort to court the religious right," and emphasized his belief that marriage is a civil union that should be separated from religion. As events inside the temple ended, the protesters marched in a circle outside the door, chanting ``Shameful," and pointing at those streaming out onto the sidewalk.
During the simulcast, images of Boston flickered on a large screen over the stage of the sanctuary. The transmission went out over the Internet and several Christian television and radio networks, allowing Romney to beam his socially conservative views to the kind of voters he might hope to reach across the country.
He had to repeat his speech when a technical glitch caused the link to the simulcast to go down briefly .
Hundreds of churches were tuned into the broadcast, said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, which organized the event.
In addition to such high-profile religious speakers as Bishop Wellington Boone of Atlanta, and Bishop Gilbert Thompson, pastor of Jubilee Christian Church in Boston, council leaders brought stories of gay-marriage opponents around the country who said they had been persecuted for expressing their opinions.
David Parker, the Lexington father who divided the school district when he demanded that his son be taken out of classes where homosexuality would be discussed, received a standing ovation after he told the crowd that school officials interfered with his parental rights.
At a press conference hours before the simulcast, Perkins said the stories of Parker and Wirthlin and dozens of other similar tales would be featured in a 60-minute DVD called ``Critical Mass," in which Romney calls for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, Perkins said.
The DVD and the broadcast, Perkins said at the press conference, are part of increasing efforts to fight the politicians and activists he said are hostile toward socially conservative Christians.
During the simulcast, Perkins encouraged viewers across the nation to purchase the DVD, which also shows Romney describing Massachusetts as the birthplace of ``traditional marriage." Thompson, the pastor at Jubilee, called on the audience to protect marriage between a man and a woman.
``For the sake of future generations, get on board," Thompson said. ``Take a stand against this radical social experiment that seeks to redefine marriage."
But the focus of the fight against gay marriage, he said, should be on Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage was legalized in 2004.
``I want to encourage you to pray for Massachusetts," Perkins told the crowd. ``Pray for this state."
© Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.