Thursday, March 11, 2004

MA State House - Round Two 

So the constitutional convention resumes today. They're hyping a "compromise" that would ban gay marriage but authorize civil unions. How exactly is that a compromise? A ban on gay marriage has been declared discriminatory, civil unions have been assessed as also discriminatory (separate is not equal). By what rationale therefore is an amendment making both discriminatory approaches a part of the constitution a compromise?

I sent e-mails to both my legislators yesterday (thanking one for his previous votes and encouraging his continued committment; expressing my dismay at the other's previous votes and urging his reconsideration on the issue). A classmate of mine works in a legislator's office, and said her entire days of late have been taken up with phone calls, letters and e-mails from constituents on both sides of the issue.

I walked from North Station to Copley this morning. It's a nice walk which takes me over Beacon Hill and by the State House, through the Common and Public Gardens, up Newbury Street (or Boylston or Comm. Ave.), then cutting over to Copley. It's usually very quiet, with a few pedestrians on Beacon Hill, then all the dog-walkers and Tai Chi practitioners in the Common, the ducks in the Public Garden, and perhaps folks getting their shops ready for the day on Arlington.

This morning at around 7:00 there were more pockets of people gathering and drinking coffee in take-out cups on Beacon Hill, and many more illegally parked cars than usual. Then once I stepped around the corner onto Beacon Street, there was all this rumbling and humming of the various news trucks lining the street, each with their satellite dishes raised high on the cherry pickers, getting ready to cover the events later today. Providing a steady accompaniment was the thwack-thwack-thwack of the helicopter hovering directly overhead. I didn't see any large groups of people, though. Once I started crossing the Common, the scene was back to usual, with a number of dogs playing tag while their owners chatted nearby, plus a small assortment of folks heading to class or work.

By 8:15, NPR was reporting that hundreds of people had already gathered. Some of the anticipated buses must have arrived in the interim.

My question to ponder now is whether I walk back up to the State House area after work to check things out firsthand, or do I go to the library and prepare for this evening's Civ Pro and Criminal Law classes? Hmm...

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:49 AM