Â Â Â Aaron Toleos is my new hero. On June 7th at the Massachusetts Democratic Convention, Toleos stood up for all of us and confronted Massachusetts Senator John Kerry about his continuing lame position on marriage equality.
Â Â Â The next day, the Boston Sunday Globe reported the David and Goliath scenario this way:
A delegate was escorted off the convention floor for having a homemade sign, which read, “John Kerry, Anti-Gay Marriage, Anti-Massachusetts.”
Aaron Toleos. codirector of the advocacy group KnowThyNeighbor.org, said he was physically assaulted during the incident and is considering legal options. He said he has the incident on videotape and planned to post it on YouTube.
Â Â Â Amazingly, some LGBT people and many progressive Democrats actually believe that Kerry supports gay marriage. It seems so improbable that he does not. It seems even more improbable that the senator would show up at the state Democratic convention and still not support us.
Â Â Â In 2004, the LGBT community in Massachusetts gave Kerry cover to dodge supporting our marriage equality victoryâ€”all so he could beat George Bush in the presidential election. We know what happened. Kerry traveled the country and said that he did not support the law in his home state giving same-sex couples the right to marry. And now four years later, Kerry has still not come around to supporting our great civil rights victory. What’s his rationalization now?
Â Â Â Marriage equality did not swift-boat Kerry, his own lack of courage and principles did.
Â Â Â What’s amazing now is that Kerry is actually looking for the support of the LGBT community and our allies in his upcoming Senate race and he still has not come out in favor of gay marriage. What is the senator’s problem in supporting equality, dignity, and the law of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts?
Â Â Â For four years now, our state has been the beacon of hope for gay marriage. We have proven to the country that extending the right of civil marriage to all people improves the quality of life in our state. Same-sex couples can marry and our families and friends can join us in validating our relationships in our communities. Our families are more secure, but there is work to be done. While we have state benefits, we still do not have the all important federal benefits that married couples receive. Kerry should be working on this for us.
Â Â Â Instead he is examining his conscienceâ€”stillâ€”about whether we should have the rights of civil marriage.
Â Â Â Toleos took a stand on Saturday that more of us must take. Will Kerry show up at Pride and have the gall to ask for our support?
Â Â Â Thanks, Aaron. I know whatÂ I have to do.
Patricia A. Gozemba