Globe Editorial

Legislators who stepped up

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August 3, 2008

AS THE Massachusetts Legislature scrambled to adjourn last week, opponents of an effort to repeal a discriminatory 1913 law used to bar out-of-state gay couples from marrying in Massachusetts thought they had a powerful weapon. With the bill already approved on a voice vote by the Senate, opponents would insist on a roll call vote in the House, thus forcing each representative to declare publicly what opponents considered a controversial, even politically damaging, stand.

Opponents clearly misjudged the mood of the voters, who did not flood the State House with calls or protests. The House debate offered critics a respectful hearing, but in the end the vote wasn't even close.

The Globe would like to recognize the 119 House members who stood up for equal rights with their votes Tuesday. (Three members were not voting, and 36 voted No.) We have listed the Yes votes below.

One of the striking things about the list is that it is truly bipartisan; five of the state's 19 House Republicans voted yes, including the House minority leader, Bradley Jones. It includes legislators from big liberal cities and small conservative towns. Five years after the state Supreme Judicial Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, it is likely that every legislator can count some gay couples among his or her constituents.

Governor Patrick signed the bill Thursday, with an emergency preamble attached so it takes effect immediately. "All people come before their government as equals," he said.

Just so. The "normalizing" of same-sex marriage, and of gays and lesbians in society, may never be accepted by social conservatives.

But it is happening, and Massachusetts can be proud of its part.


Kevin Aguiar (D-Fall River)
Geraldo Alicea (D-Charleton)
Willie Mae Allen (D-Mattapan)
Cory Atkins (D-Concord)
Demetrius J. Atsalis (D-Hyannisport)
Ruth B. Balser (D-Newton)
Carlo Basile (D-East Boston)
Daniel E. Bosley (D-North Adams)
Garrett J. Bradley (D-Hingham)
William Brownsberger (D-Belmont)
Antonio F. D. Cabral (D-New Bedford)
Jennifer M. Callahan (D-Sutton)
Thomas J. Calter III (D-Kingston)
Linda Dean Campbell (D-Methuen)
Christine E. Canavan (D-Brockton)
Stephen R. Canessa (D-New Bedford)
Katherine Clark (D-Melrose)
Cheryl A. Coakley-Rivera (D-Springfield)
Thomas Conroy (D-Wayland)
Michael A. Costello (D-Newburyport)
Sean Curran (D-Springfield)
Steven D'Amico (D-Seekonk)
Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop)
Brian S. Dempsey (D-Haverhill)
Salvatore F. DiMasi (D-Boston)
Stephen DiNatale (D-Fitchburg)
Paul J. Donato (D-Medford)
Christopher J. Donelan (D-Orange)
Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead)
James B. Eldridge (D-Eldridge)
Christopher G. Fallon (D-Malden)
Mark V. Falzone (D-Saugus)
Robert F. Fennell (D-Lynn)
John Fernandes (D-Milford)
Barry R. Finegold (D-Andover)
Jennifer L. Flanagan (D-Leominster)
Linda Dorcena Forry (D-Dorchester)
Gloria L. Fox (D-Roxbury)
William C. Galvin (D-Canton)
Sean Garballey (D-Arlington)
Anne M. Gobi (D-Spencer)
Thomas A. Golden Jr. (D-Lowell)
Mary E. Grant (D-Beverly)
Denis E. Guyer (D-Dalton)
Patricia A. Haddad (D-Somerset)
Geoffrey D. Hall (D-Westford)
Lida E. Harkins (D-Needham)
Bradford Hill (R-Ipswich)
Kevin G. Honan (D-Boston)
Bradley H. Jones Jr. (R-North Reading)
Louis L. Kafka (D-Stoughton)
Jay R. Kaufman (D-Lexington)
John D. Keenan (D-Salem)
Thomas P. Kennedy (D-Brockton)
Kay Khan (D-Newton)
Peter V. Kocot (D-Northampton)
Robert M. Koczera (D-New Bedford)
Peter J. Koutoujian (D-Waltham)
Paul Kujawski (D-Webster)
Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington)
David P. Linsky (D-Natick)
Barbara A. L'Italien (D-Andover)
Paul J. P. Loscocco (R-Holliston)
Elizabeth A. Malia (D-Boston)
Ronald Mariano (D-Quincy)
Allen McCarthy (D-East Bridgewater)
Paul McMurty (D-Dedham)
Michael Moran (D-Boston)
Charles A. Murphy (D-Burlington)
Kevin J. Murphy (D-Lowell)
David M. Nangle (D-Lowell)
Harold P. Naughton Jr. (D-Clinton)
Robert J. Nyman (D-Hanover)
James O'Day (D-West Boylston)
Eugene L. O'Flaherty (D-Chelsea)
Matthew C. Patrick (D-Falmouth)
Sarah Peake (D-Provincetown)
Vincent A. Pedone (D-Worcester)
Alice Peisch (D-Wellesley)
Jeffrey Davis Perry (R-Sandwich)
Denise Provost (D-Somerville)
John F. Quinn (D-Dartmouth)
Kathi-Anne Reinstein (D-Revere)
Robert Rice (D-Gardner)
Pam Richardson (D-Framingham)
Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport)
John H. Rogers (D-Norwood)
Richard J. Ross (R-Wrentham)
Byron Rushing (D-Boston)
Jeffrey Sánchez (D-Boston)
Rosemary Sandlin (D-Agawam)
Tom Sannicandro (D-Ashland)
John W. Scibak (D-South Hadley)
Carl M. Sciortino Jr. (D-Medford)
Stephen Stat Smith (D-Everett)
Frank I. Smizik (D-Brookline)
Theodore C. Speliotis (D-Danvers)
Robert P. Spellane (D-Worcester)
Christopher Speranzo (D-Pittsfield)
Joyce A. Spiliotis (D-Peabody)
Marie P. St. Fleur (D-Dorchester)
Thomas M. Stanley (D-Waltham)
Ellen Story (D-Amherst)
William M. Straus (D-Mattapoisett)
David B. Sullivan (D-Fall River)
Benjamin Swan (D-Springfield)
Timothy J. Toomey Jr. (D-Cambridge)
David M. Torrisi (D-North Andover)
Eric T. Turkington (D-Falmouth)
Cleon H. Turner (D-East Dennis)
James E. Vallee (D-Franklin)
Anthony J. Verga (D-Gloucester)
Brian P. Wallace (D-Boston)
Patricia A. Walrath (D-Stow)
Martin J. Walsh (D-Dorchester)
Steven M. Walsh (D-Lynn)
Martha Marty Walz (D-Boston)
James T. Welch (D-West Springfield)
Alice K. Wolf (D-Cambridge)

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