A Cautious Man
November 19, 2003
That Massachusetts Decision
There will be a lot of discussion about the decision (you know, this one). As it is discussed, whether in terms of politics, morality, religious faith or economics, it would be a good thing to keep in mind the following, from Justice Greaney's concurrence:
I am hopeful that our decision will be accepted by those thoughtful citizens who believe that same-sex unions should not be approved by the State. I am not referring here to acceptance in the sense of grudging acknowledgment of the court's authority to adjudicate the matter. My hope is more liberating. The plaintiffs are members of our community, our neighbors, our coworkers, our friends. As pointed out by the court, their professions include investment advisor, computer engineer, teacher, therapist, and lawyer. The plaintiffs volunteer in our schools, worship beside us in our religious houses, and have children who play with our children, to mention just a few ordinary daily contacts. We share a common humanity and participate together in the social contract that is the foundation of our Commonwealth. Simple principles of decency dictate that we extend to the plaintiffs, and to their new status, full acceptance, tolerance, and respect. We should do so because it is the right thing to do.Reasonable people will differ, but in doing so will have to confront the simple truth that this issue does not affect strangers, but "members of our community, our neighbors, our coworkers, our friends".