Mass Equality

Baywindows has an interesting interview with one of the Massachusetts lawmakers who changed her vote to support equality.

“The concern became that any kind of ballot initiative was going to be very unpleasant and that there would be vituperative and vicious kinds of allegations and nobody’s children — the children of the Commonwealth don’t need to hear that about their parents or their neighbors or their teacher or anybody else,” she said. “Many of these same-gender couples have adopted children and have for years [adopted] children no other couples wanted. Children who have severe challenges and they’ve done amazing things with those children. They’ve built families with those children. And I don’t want those children to ever feel less than or second best.”

Candaras noted that her staff tracked every communication that came into her office regarding the amendment. She said she received about 6800 calls, emails and letters urging her to vote against the amendment and just 500 communications from those who wanted her to support it. “People are becoming more educated about these issues,” Candaras said.

Candaras related the story of a constituent who had previously urged her to support the amendment but had recently called to say she had changed her mind: “Another woman in my district said to me, ‘I asked you to put this on the ballot so I can vote … but since then, Gale, this lovely couple, these two men moved in next door to me and they have a couple of children and they’re married and they help me with my lawn.'”

Stories like those, she added, moved her the most. “Older individuals who had asked me to let them vote the last time and who had changed their minds,” were the most influential to her decision-making process, she said. “When you get more than one or two of those” it’s noticeable.

Is the tide turning?

PS – See, those phone calls do matter.

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