About 2,000 people came out to a rally yesterday to support a state constitutional amendment that will maintain the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.
The demonstration, held a short distance from the Massachusetts Statehouse on the Boston Common, was led by Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, who said the demonstration was not about “hate-mongering.”
''We are here because we are concerned about marriage and about family,'' the archbishop said, reported the Associated Press. ''Good strong marriage and family are good for our country, for society.''
The people responded with cheers and applause. The also chanted, sang and held banners that read “Marriage, ancient, sacred,” reported AP.
The demonstration is the result of a number of two court decisions that require state legislators to legalize same-sex marriage in the next few months.
In November, the Massachusetts Judicial Court ruled 4-3 that same-sex couples had a right to marriage. The court gave the Legislature until May to enact the appropriate legislation. Just last week, the court reaffirmed its decision in another 4-3 ruling, stating that only marriage and not civil unions could satisfy the state’s constitution regarding same-sex unions.
However, the full House and Senate will have a joint meeting Wednesday to consider a constitutional amendment that will ban same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. The amendment will be put to the vote twice. If a majority of lawmakers vote in favor of the amendment both times, a referendum must be held on the amendment, allowing the citizens to decide.
Given the most current polls, citizen support for same-sex marriage seems to be slipping. Of 501 adults polled in the last two weeks, 33 percent said the state should recognize same-sex marriages, compared to 37 percent in November. The poll was conducted by Merrimack College's Center for Public Opinion Research.
The movement to support and promote traditional marriage includes more than the Catholic Church. A number of religious leaders, including Protestant, Orthodox Jews, Muslims and Orthodox Christians, have come together to oppose same-sex marriage and put pressure on the Legislature to amend the constitution to ban same-sex marriage, reported the Boston Globe.
A statement to that effect was also created. The Globe reported that signatories included: Rev. William P. Leahy, president of Boston College; Rev. Eugene F. Rivers III of the Azusa Christian Community; Rev. David M. Midwood, president of Vision New England, an umbrella organization of 2,000 evangelical Protestant churches; and Metropolitan Methodios, the Greek Orthodox hierarch of New England.