SJC rejects church group's bid to delay gay marriage law - The Boston Globe - Boston.com - Mass. - News By Jonathan Saltzman, Globe Staff | May 28, 2005
The state's highest court yesterday rejected a long-shot request by a Roman Catholic group to put on hold the landmark decision legalizing gay marriage until at least November 2006, when a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex weddings may go before Massachusetts voters. The Supreme Judicial Court rejected an attempt by C. Joseph Doyle, executive director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, to shelve the court's 4-to-3 ruling in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health in 2003. Lawyers for the group had argued that marriages of same-sex couples would make it harder for supporters of the ban to change the state constitution. But in a unanimous two-page decision, the full court concluded last year that Justice Roderick L. Ireland had correctly denied the league's petition for an immediate stay of the ruling. [...] The decision came as little surprise. Lawyers for both the Catholic Action League and GLAD had expressed doubts that the court would stay its ruling. Michele Granda, a staff lawyer for GLAD, was so confident that she did not make an oral argument May 2. "The court has affirmed our view that no harm has befallen anyone in the Commonwealth as the result of same-sex couples marrying in the state," Granda said in a statement yesterday. "Goodridge is the law of the Commonwealth, and nothing has happened to change that."
Chester Darling, who represented the Catholic Action League before the SJC, denounced the ruling. He said justices have made it harder for supporters of the ban to persuade Massachusetts voters to outlaw gay marriage.
Really, if you can't sustain an appeal to bigotry absent the help of the state's supreme court, then your case is really quite astonishingly weak, isn't it? After all, bigotry of this sort has little to do with logic, and more to do with fear and possessiveness. "Mine! It's all mine, and you can't have it!" Only once people realize that they can still have it, that letting someone else get married has no real effect on theirs, then they kind of ... go off the boil, as it were.
And, as it turns out, they appear to be quite right about the effects of allowing marriage:
More adults in the Bay State support the concept of wedlock for homosexual partners, according to a poll by the University of Massachusetts. 45 per cent of respondents believe same-sex marriage should be allowed, a seven per cent increase since January. [...]
All that said, the figures hide a somewhat less rosy picture. Yes, 45% of Massachusetts adults (based on a phone survey of 400 MA adults, and we shall ignore the issue of income and social desirability bias, which ought to be quite strong in this type of survey) favor allowing gay marriage ... but 38% favor some version of outright ban on gay marriage, and 14% say "it doesn't matter to me". (Most peculiarly for this type of study, there's no real "undecided" category.) Now, in any given study of this sort, people lie to look better. Thus a certain percentage of people saying either "yay for gay marriage!" or "no to gay marriage but hooray for civil unions!" are outright lying. So, for that matter, are some of the "it doesn't matter to me". So if it actually did come down to a vote, you could expect a ban on gay marriage would likely squeak through.Posted by iain at June 01, 2005 01:00 PM