For those of you who not familiar with 1776 is about the writing and signing of the Declaration of Independence. There is one particular line towards the end of the play spoken by the Representative from Rhode Island (Stephen Hopkins I believe) that keeps playing in my head. As the play ends everyone in Congress signing the Declaration, however, Franklin says something like (and I'm paraphrasing):
I want to see the face of each man as he signsWhat I took this to mean was that putting your signature was such an important step that Hopkins wanted to be sure that each man was willing to stand up to the contents of the document he was affixing his signature to. The document is still available so everyone everywhere can see who supported freedom for this country.
I see some similarities to this "new" amendment which the Mass "Family" group has initiated. The one different is that this "new" document is taking away rights from a group of Americans however the signature process is still the same. When one affixes his/her signature to that document they will forever be associated with promoting discrimination for a certain group of people. Unlike the Congress in 1776, the signers of this anti-gay amendment want to do it in darkness and not have people know that they have stood up for discrimination. Regardless, all the people who sign the petition will be made public. Know Thy Neighbor.org is just doing exactly what Stephen Hopkins did all those years ago.