Your columnist, Eileen McNamara, decries the ineffectual intervention of Deval Patrick in the gay marriage debate (This battle's worth a fight, Boston Globe, January 3, 2007). Part of the problem might have been in his assertion to use "whatever means appropriate" (which presumably includes voting for adjournment) rather than focusing on getting legislators to vote down the substantive question.
A vote to adjourn was a dead letter after the Supreme Judicial Court said that failing to vote on the substantive issue would violate the legislative oath to uphold the constitution. He should have focused on the substantive issue; he should have lobbied hard with the 62 who supported the amendment.
But that's easy to say with 20/20 hindsight.
I agree with the principle that the Constitution is designed to protect the rights of minorities, not to restrict them. Democracy easily turns into demagoguery and it is demagoguery to insist that our gay and lesbian friends and neighbors should not have the right to marry.
We must work hard over the next two years to ensure that all members of the legislature come to accept that message.