What the Petition ALL Boils Down To
Today I received two letters from two different women regarding the petition otherwise known as, "The Constitutional Amendment to Define Marriage." One was from Chatham, Mass, the other from Northbridge, Mass. Both women signed the petition, both have a different take on it. The letters speak for themselves...about "ownership" of one's own actions, to hide behind rhetoric or to accept it...
Letter #1 (from Chatham)
I was extremely distressed to find my name on your website, as a signatory to Petition #05-02, The Constitutional Amendment to Define Marriage. You state that your publication is to alert victims of possible fraud to act to have their names stricken from the petition. I suspect that you are really publishing an "enemies list", equating the signing of the petition with the opposition to your pro-same sex marriage stance.
In fact, my signing of the petition was neither induced by fraud, nor did it indicate my stance on an appropriate legal definition of marriage. What it did reflect my belief that a matter so profoundly meaningful to so many people should be allowed to go to the ballot and be voted on by the citizens of Massachusetts.
I understand the ramifications of signing a petition and the operation of the Freedom of Information Act. Nonetheless, the publication of my name on your website is as abhorrent to me as it would be if it were published on an anti-same sex marriage website, with the inference that I was in support of that position.
I am therefore asking that you remove my name from the listing on your website immediately. Your compliance will go a long way toward convincing me that you are objective and fair in your campaign to regularize same sex marriage in our state.
Letter #2 (From Northbridge)
Because I suffer from macular degeneration, I am legally blind. I am unable to read without the aid of a closed circuit tv machine. Therefore, when I was asked to sign the above petition last year, I asked what it said, since I could not read it myself. I was told by the young man collecting signatures that it was a petition to put the question of gay marriage on the ballot so that people would have the opportunity to vote on the issue.
I specifically asked him if the petition took a stand against gay marriage. Because I support marriage equality, I told him I would not sign if the petition were against gay marriage. He assured me that it was not, but was "simply a mechanism to put the issue to a vote."
When my daughter later read me the actual wording of the petition, I was quite upset. I am a retired middle school teacher, and it pains me to think that my former students might now believe that I am homophobic, and that I do not support equal rights for all of them. I feel that I was misled.
Tom Lang, Director
**follow-up** Are the signers being polled ?? from a letter from the daughter of the woman from Northbridge
"As I explained a couple of weeks ago in our telephone conversation, because the person who misled my mother into signing the petition is a family member, she did not wish to name him in the affidavit. Of course, this person showed her no such consideration in having her associate her name with this hateful petition; as I mentioned previously, he did not have the integrity to sign it himself.
As you most likely know, anti-gay marriage people are apparently using the petition to contact people who signed. My mother received a telephone call recently asking her about her views on gay marriage. When she responded that she supported gay marriage, she said, "They hung up pretty quickly."