Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI) announced an initiative this week that seeks to build mutual respect and dialogue between those who support and those who oppose same sex marriage in Massachusetts.
Advocates for same sex marriage routinely have called supporters of the marriage amendment hateful and bigoted, while amendment supporters say they are simply following the constitutional process to have their voice heard on what they view as an important social issue.
MFI and VoteOnMarriage.org - the ballot question committee seeking to advance the Massachusetts marriage amendment - have endeavored to advance a campaign that refrains from name calling and does not denigrate individuals. However, as many political pundits predict, the same sex marriage debate, much like the abortion debate, will be with us for decades and MFI sees a need and an opportunity to work with leaders on all sides to promote justice in the way we discuss our differences.
"The tone and rhetoric around this public policy issue have escalated to a frenzied level, too often with shouting that does nothing to promote understanding. Denouncing individuals as bigots does not bring people with honest differences together. We would like to work with our opponents to raise the quality of the dialogue," said Kris Mineau, president, Massachusetts Family Institute and spokesman, VoteOnMarrige.org
In the coming months, MFI will convene forums and develop policy recommendations on ways to build bridges and promote positive dialogue on the very real and honest differences both sides espouse relative to same sex marriage and its implications on social policy in the Commonwealth.
Even as this initiative beings to take shape, MFI and VoteOnMarriage.org will continue to urge supporters of the marriage amendment to be respectful of human differences and always maintain a dialogue that affirms the dignity of every person.
"I have come to know my political opponent Marc Solomon, executive director of MassEquality as a gentleman who has strong personal convictions," Mineau added. "I believe that if asked he would come to the table in good faith to advance meaningful dialogue that his supporters also would embrace - today begins the process of asking."
What comes to mind first is how can we have mutal respect for these people who are trying to take away our civil rights? Secondly all I can think of are the times when MFI and its cohorts have "endeavored to advance a campaign that includes name calling and denigrates a whole group". It's obvious that they are now trying to appeal to the voters out there and tell them "We're nice people, we are being called bigots and hateful. We are victims, support us" Well, lest we forget the people who are involved with MFI":
Kris Mineau: "This is affecting me immediately because my children are in conflict. It's putting my children in turmoil," said Kris Mineau,"I've always argued that from May 17 onward, my heterosexual marriage was no longer unique, no longer a standard for the culture, and that's an affront to me and it grieves me."
Roberto Miranda, the leader of Vote on Marriage, likened marriage equality in Massachusetts to the terrorist attacks in New York on Sept. 11th. He also called homosexuality a virus.
Larry Cirignano, the leader of the Catholic Citizenship group and one of the people who headed up the Vote On Marriage signature drive physically attacked a woman who was carrying a sign for Marriage Equality.
Blue Mass Group is also taking the first shot at civil dialogue by asking Kris Mineau to renounce the statements made by Roberto Miranda, (who was standing in the aisle shouting and yelling at us on the Marriage Equality side of the Gardner Auditorium while everyone looked on). I can't wait to see their response.