BOSTON –Hundreds of opponents to same-sex marriage gathered for a rally against the Massachusetts court ruling favoring such unions, Sunday, Feb. 8. The protestors showed support for a proposed constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
Keynote speakers including the Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley of the Roman Catholic Boston Archdiocese, and state House Speaker Thomas Finneran – both known for their staunch opposition to gay “marriages”.
The protestors held banners that read "Let the people vote," "Marriage, ancient, sacred," and "Homosexuality is not normal" as they were entertained by live music.
A smaller group of counter-protesters, some holding a banner that said "Shame on you Sean," in reference to O'Malley, stood behind the main stage.
The protest was mainly against November’s Massachusetts’ highest court ruling that allowed same-sex couples the right to the benefits of marriage. This past week, it ruled 4-3 that only marriage – not civil union—would satisfy this initial decision.
On Saturday, leaders of churches, synagogues and mosques around Massachusetts condemned the high court's ruling in a joint statement and urged a constitutional ban on such unions.
"All eyes are on Massachusetts; may they see our courage and resolve to safeguard the fundamental institution of marriage," the statement concluded.
Signers included O'Malley; the Rev. David M. Midwood, president of Vision New England, an organization of evangelical churches; the Islamic Council of New England, which has about 25 centers and mosques; the 80-church Black Ministerial Alliance; 100 Christian Orthodox churches; and two Jewish leaders.