"Holy cow, the sky hasn't fallen." That assessment of five years of same-sex marriage came from Jennifer Chrisler, who advocates for gay and lesbian parents as head of the Boston-based Family Equality Council.And politicians who supported it survived:
One of the striking developments, since 2004, is the fading away of opposition to gay marriage among elected officials in Massachusetts. When the state's Supreme Judicial Court ruled in 2003 that banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, there seemed to be sufficient support in the Legislature for a ballot measure that would overturn the decision. But efforts to unseat pro-gay-marriage legislators floundered; a gay-marriage supporter, Deval Patrick, was elected governor; and a climactic push for a referendum was rejected by lawmakers in 2007 by a 151-45 vote.....Of course there are still those opposed, but they are fighting a rearguard action. Gay families in MA are protected, and that's the important thing. Are you listening, California?
The near-consensus now among political leaders is a far cry from 2003-04, when the debate was wrenching for legislators such as Sen. Marian Walsh. Her district, including parts of Boston and some close-in suburbs, is heavily Catholic and socially conservative, so when same-sex marriage became a public issue, "there wasn't an appetite to discuss it, let alone support it," Walsh said.....
"It was a lot of hard work," she said. "I came to the decision that it really is a civil right — that the constitution was there to protect rights, not to diminish rights."
She described the reaction as a "firestorm" — embittered constituents, hate mail and death threats, rebukes from Catholic clergy, but she won re-election in 2004 and again in 2006 over challengers who opposed gay marriage.