February 19, 2004 • Volume 12 Number 11
Last week, as a constitutional convention held to debate amendments concerning gay marriage adjourned until March 11, Boston College faculty members offered comments on the often contentious, emotional session and the issues surrounding it.
Prof. Charles Baron (Law): "I think John Adams would be proud of the way the democratic process has been at work here. Constitutional crises like this invite the public to discuss issues of governance they don't ordinarily talk about, and force us all to think about fundamental questions about our whole system. These are questions for everyone, not just the legal and political experts."
Adj. Assoc. Prof. Paul McNellis, SJ (Philosophy): "This is not a Church-state issue. It's a matter of the public common good, to which Christians are obligated to contribute according to their talents and abilities. If marriage is going to be radically redefined for six million residents of Massachusetts, then let's let the citizens of the Commonwealth decide, not four unelected judges."
Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life Director Prof. Alan Wolfe (Political Science): "Given that John Kerry is from our state, that he was Mike Dukakis' lieutenant governor, that the convention is being held here, and that one of our congressmen is openly gay, how could the issue of gay marriage not be a theme of the 2004 presidential election? Interesting enough, though, the same percentage of Americans that opposes gay marriage (60 percent) also opposes a constitutional amendment to ban it. No one knows how this will eventually play out." •