One of Boston's 100 Most Powerful Women (Boston Magazing 2003) Walsh was a Massachusetts State Senator representing cities and towns in Suffolk and Norfolk counties.
MARIAN WALSH: I think, too, the “M” word, the marriage word, became so nuclear. I found in my experience that many people just didn’t want gay couples to be able to use the marriage word. And when I get underneath all that, that was their leg up. Straight couples could be married, but gay couples can’t be married because marriage is religious. And what I found was a very thoughtful conspiracy to say marriage belonged to the religious community, and didn’t belong to the state.
The fact is marriage is a civil contract. And we created it largely for public health reasons. I became for a short time an expert on the history of marriage, and why we have licenses. And the religious piece was very, very late. And what they want to do is not have a separation of church and state, and they wanted to be homogenized. And they don’t want there to be-- They don’t want you to recognize that civil marriage is truly- and the civil state, pardon me- is truly what gives the religious community the authority to marry. They just want to extinguish that, some do.
And I agree with you so much Mary that-- Allow me to make it very clear that that is a law. That is the truth. And the marriage word is one that people can use to show that they have a superior union. It’s better. It’s more holy, more dignified. And I think the marriage word got me into a lot of trouble. And I can understand why it got me into a lot of trouble. And now that I understand I want to use it even more because it’s the truth. And eventually everyone, I think, most people, I believe, are going to feel comfortable and proud, and feel a sense of dignity and great joy. We have a lot of work to do. And I wish there was a shortcut. There’s just a lot of work ahead.
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