Banning Same-Sex Marriage in MA, It's Time to Move on

Dear Editor,
    
On September 14, 2005, the state legislature voted 157-39 not to advance a constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. You would think this would be enough to uphold the court decision that allowed same-sex marriage in the Commonwealth, but opponents of these rights are trying to pass a similar amendment, this one even more extreme (in that it strips all marital rights away instead of downgrading marriage to civil unions, which at least provide some rights). This issue has already been thoroughly debated and inequality has been rejected by the Legislature. It is time to move on. The people of Massachusetts want to spend time on other issues, such as education and health care, which deserve more time – not giving further effort to an issue that has already had judgment passed on it.

In September of this year, my partner of 16 years and I moved back to Massachusetts from Florida.  We had made the journey North in July and were legally married in Provincetown.  One of the largest reasons for our return was the ability to marry legally, with all the same rights under the law that people are able to enjoy without any special planning.

I have Multiple Sclerosis and due to this fact, health insurance is a major issue for me. With the changes in Medicare, I realized that I could not count on it for my health care needs. My partner was relegated to working for two of the worst agencies in Fort Lauderdale just to attain some form of partnership benefits.
   
With the freedom of marriage, we are able to live where we want to and my partner is free to choose an appropriate and fulfilling position without having to worry about my needs. Essentially, the same as any other couple is able to do.

This move does not come without any costs. The benefits I reaped from the weather in Florida is no longer.  My condition has deteriorated some due to the cold.  However, due to the insurance issues and my strong belief in equality for all, I am convinced that we made the right decision.  I am also convinced that the Legislature and the good people of Massachusetts made the right decision as well.

Sincerely,

Butch Sakellarion
Hyannis, MA

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