[Jan. 9, 2007] Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI) today announced an initiative that seeks to build mutual respect and dialogue between those who support and those who oppose same sex marriage in Massachusetts. Advocates for same sex marriage routinely have called supporters of the marriage amendment hateful and bigoted, while amendment supporters say they are simply following the constitutional process to have their voice heard on what they view as an important social issue.
"The tone and rhetoric around this public policy issue has escalated to a frenzied level, too often with shouting that does nothing promote [sic] understanding. Denouncing individuals as bigots does not bring people with honest differences together. We would like to work with our opponents to raise the quality of the dialogue," said Kris Mineau. [meaning: Please don't call us names! It hurts our feelings!]
"I have come to know my political opponent Marc Solomon, executive director of MassEquality as a gentleman who has strong personal convictions," Mineau added. "I believe that if asked he would come to the table in good faith to advance meaningful dialogue that his supporters also would embrace-today begins the process of asking." [emphasis added]
Are we seeing political naivete here, or just plain simple-mindedness? Mineau is clearly in denial about the behavior and tactics of Marc Solomon and Arline Isaacson, the GLBT extremist group leaders, who cheered on their troopers in the most disruptive behaviors imaginable short of violence, protesting VOM's rally at the State House (Nov. 19).
The president of the MassEquality Board of Directors (Solomon's boss) said MassEquality "will redouble its efforts to protect marriage equality and defeat this discriminatory amendment in the legislature.... We are not going away. We are going to get bigger and stronger and do whatever is necessary to make sure that our families, our rights and our communities are safe.”
Mineau began his dialogue by giving an interview to the GLBT newspaper, Bay Windows ("Calling for a cease fire", 1-17-07), which immediately turned on him, snidely dismissing his proposal. From Bay Windows:
Following the Jan. 2 vote by the legislature to advance the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage into the new legislative session, activists on both sides of the marriage debate put out public calls for dialogue to encourage an end to offensive rhetoric and a de-escalation of the war of words. Yet in an interview with Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI) and spokesperson for VoteOnMarriage.org, he made it clear that opponents of same-sex marriage would make no effort to rein in some of the most egregious offenders, members of the clergy speaking out in favor of the amendment....
Mineau said VoteOnMarriage.org believes the most hateful language in the marriage debate has come not from the lead advocates on either side but from rank-and-file supporters at events from either side.
“I cannot attribute anything to MassEquality or the Religious Coalition [for the Freedom to Marry], and again the leadership of those organizations, I think we have an excellent relationship,” said Mineau.... When asked for examples when he felt same-sex marriage supporters crossed the line he pointed to the counter-protestors at the series of rallies VoteOnMarriage.org held across the state last month urging lawmakers to vote on their amendment....
Mineau said he envisions the dialogue consisting of a series of public forums where the leaders of the different organizations on both sides come together to talk about how to have a more civil debate. He said VoteOnMarriage.org is still planning out its proposal for the dialogue and has not yet formally reached out to same-sex marriage activists.
“We’re right at the gestation point of this initiative. We want to do this, and that’s the point that we’re at. We have some ideas where hopefully we can have some constructive forums to discuss, not necessarily to debate, to discuss, not necessarily the pros and cons of same-sex marriage but the pros and cons of how the debate should be conducted on both sides,” said Mineau.
For their part, the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry (RCFM) has put out its own call for dialogue, aimed not at VoteOnMarriage.org but at the most powerful member of the clergy working to advance the amendment, Catholic Archbishop Sean O’Malley.
Meanwhile the assault on parents' rights and children in the public schools has begun in the legislature. Planned Parenthood and the homosexual lobby held a press conference before a packed hearing room in the State House on Jan. 8, and announced their three-pronged attack on in Massachusetts coming in this legislative session:
- mandatory K-12 health education, including pro-abortion, pro-promiscuity, pro-homosexual indoctrination (MassResistance helped mobilize the opposition to this last session, along with MCFL);
- ending federal funding to abstinence-only sex education; and
- overturning "outmoded anti-abortion statutes" in Massachusetts.
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE, STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, JAN. 8, 2007
Legislation mandating K-12 health education, cutting off federal funding for abstinence-only education and repealing outmoded anti-abortion statutes drew dozens of legislators to a strategy session and bill-signing hosted by the Massachusetts Coalition for Choice on Monday morning. A packed hearing room listened as coalition members, who hail from Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice and other public health groups, rallied legislators to support their agenda and discussed a game plan for dealing with opposition. The young 2007-2008 legislative session is just getting underway.
The health education bill, sponsored by Sen. Edward Augustus (D-Worcester) and Rep. Alice Wolf (D-Cambridge), would add health education to the “core curriculum” at primary and secondary schools. The bill reintroduces legislation that died in committee at the end of the last session, but “the prospects for this bill are very good,” according to Angus McQuilken, vice president for public affairs for Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. McQuilken, who heads the Massachusetts Coalition for Choice, cited the founding of the Coalition Advocating Responsible Education for Youth, a broad-based coalition lobbying for the education law, as a sign that momentum has turned in favor of the bill....
[And the supposedly conservative pro-family abstinence educators seem to be caving:]
Healthy Futures, a faith-based health education advocate, believes that the state should shed a common misconception that federal funding for abstinence education would limit the sexual education students receive. Rebecca Ray, the group’s director, said that while federal funding must be used for abstinence education, the state can still supplement that education with its own curriculum. Responding to the notion that schools that couldn’t afford their own health curriculum would only teach abstinence, Ray said that “presumably” the new mandatory health education law “would come with some funding.” Ray said her group could get behind both of the laws pertaining to health education as long as neither one was limited what children were taught – including the idea that “abstinence is a realistic option.” ...
Massachusetts Citizens for Life could not be reached for comment.
Attendees at the bill-signing event said they were excited to have a pro-choice governor, Deval Patrick, in the Corner Office, placing every branch of state government firmly in the pro-choice column. Melissa Kogut, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, said that Patrick, in conjunction with a heavily pro-choice Legislature, would offer “new opportunities to promote access to reproductive health services” and to advance more comprehensive health education.