Saturday, April 16, 2005

"Catholic" State Rep Officiates at "Gay Wedding"

Rep. Kathi-Anne Reinstein calls herself Catholic. But yesterday she performed the "marriage" of two men, age 61 and 43. She said being bullied by someone at the Catholic Conference (the lobbying wing of the Archdiocese) had something to do with her decision to speak and vote for homosexual marriage at last year's Constitutional Convention.

Bay Windows reports (Making it happen: Revere lawmaker to marry two of her gay constituents this weekend) that despite her conservative Catholic upbringing, the 34-year-old Rep from a "socially conservative" district (Chelsea, Saugus, and Revere) voted against the teachings of her Church, against the beliefs of her deceased father (former mayor of Revere and state legislator), and against the wishes of many of her constituents. (Unbelievably -- but this is Massachusetts -- she ran unopposed in 2004!).

Her emotions were in such an uproar over the issue, she decided to keep a journal! That helped her know her heart -- and her heart must be right. So, now she performs "homosexual marriages". "Any member of this Commonwealth should be able to marry someone who is their best friend and soul mate if they choose," she said in her ConCon speech.

The article includes these most interesting comments on Rep. Reinstein's interactions with the Mass. Catholic Conference:

There was also pressure from the Catholic church. Reinstein was raised in a conservative Catholic home; her father belonged to three Holy Name Society chapters. Some of the most personal attacks came from society members, in addition to what she describes as "fear and intimidation" tactics on the part of a lobbyist for the Massachusetts Catholic Conference (MCC).

She is quick however, to praise MCC Executive Director Gerry D'Avolio, who she says "was really good to work with and respected people's opinions. And when I think of the Catholic church he's the type of person I think of." Ultimately, it was the church that inspired Reinstein to stand up and speak at the constitutional convention.

After reading an article in the Boston Herald in which an MCC official characterized its lobbying as a matter of pressuring legislators so that they were fearful about supporting same-sex marriage, Reinstein had had enough. "I just felt like that was so outrageously wrong. Regardless of what side I'm on, I'm a Catholic and I love my religion, but to have my religion come and bully me, I just thought that was so wrong. That's not the church I was brought up in."