Rep. Emile Goguen Will File Resolution to Remove Judges Marshall, Greaney, Ireland and Cowin in New Session of Legislature

      Rep. Emile Goguen (D-Fitchburg) told his fellow legislators yesterday that he will file a Resolution of Address in the new legislature to remove the four judges who voted in favor of homosexual marriage last year.

       He asked for the support of other Reps and Senators and told them that his actions in favor of the removal of Judges Margaret Marshall, John Greaney, Roderick Ireland and Judith Cowin have given him great support from the citizens.

       “Instead of being hurt politically, I have never been so respected and acknowledged in my home town and state.  In fact, I heard from people across the country urging me to stay strong and to continue with my courage on such a controversial issue.  Everywhere I’d go people would thank me and speak words of encouragement. Although I was targeted with a formidable gay-backed opponent in the primary with many volunteers, I won with 71% of the votes.”

       He said the process must be slowed so that the state does not act “hastily” and if the judges are removed, it must be done not in anger or to punish but to take a “long, hard look at what we are accomplishing, instead of rushing it through.”

       Full text of Goguen’s letter.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

House of Representatives

State House, Boston

 

November 22, 2004

Dear Colleague,

        I was at home last November when I first heard that Margaret Marshall had decreed that gay marriage was required under our state Constitution.  I knew she had made a terrible miscalculation.  I have always tried to be a team member and help my Party while in public service as a Councillor in Fitchburg for 24 years and as State Representative for 14 years. I understood this was going to be different.  I knew that if I ever had a chance to vote or give my opinion on this subject, it would come straight from my heart, no matter what others might say or believe.

       I immediately began to express those feelings at the State House and many people learned of them.  Some were concerned about my career if I didn’t hold my tongue.  My family and my close friends told me that they had never worried about my re-election before, but for the first time they did worry as a result of what I was saying.

       Instead of being hurt politically, I have never been so respected and acknowledged in my home town and state.  In fact, I heard from people across the country urging me to stay strong and to continue with my courage on such a controversial issue.  Everywhere I’d go people would thank me and speak words of encouragement.

       Although I was targeted with a formidable gay-backed opponent in the primary with many volunteers, I won with 71% of the votes.  Even the Washington Post sent a reporter and photographer to follow me last summer.  I invited them warmly to also follow me around the State House.  As a result, they did not write the attack article their editors had expected.

       Several in my Party were concerned about my expression of my feeling.  They understood that I am a team player and not a crusader.  However, this attack on traditional marriage is a huge event for our state, our country and Western civilization.  I knew this ruling from Marshall and her colleagues had hit the core values in my marriage, as it would in so many others.

       I know many gay people.  They know I bear no ill will to them, but they also know that my family is the key to my life, and I knew that I could not allow just one person to make this monumental change to our civilization that had been in place for thousands of years.  Certainly it required more discussion than had been allowed by Judge Marshall.

       As I learned more about the process that Margaret Marshall had used, I felt my decision even more strongly.

       The other three judges on the court, Francis Spina, Martha Sosman and Robert Cordy said that Marshall broke our Massachusetts Constitution, because she did not have the power to do what she was doing.  If this were to be done, it must be done by the legislature after long and careful debate.  However, there is no doubt in my mind that it must be done only by the citizens after years of debate in the amendment process, but not the amendments we passed last spring, which were a farce.  If the citizens do not have the ability to make a decision in this matter, then the whole principle of our government must be discarded.

       I do not believe we are ready to jettison our democracy and choose a new form of government just because some are in a rush to proceed.

       Have “we” given up on our citizens?  And if so, exactly who is “we”?

       I believe we must slow up what is happening and take a long, slow look at what has been serving us well since the founding of our country.  As I learned more about the removal process that was put into our Massachusetts Constitution by the man who wrote it in 1780, John Adams, I realized this is what we must use in order to be sure we do not act hastily.  It was put here just for an occasion such as this.  If we remove Judges Marshall, John Greaney, Roderick Ireland and Judith Cowin, we do not do so in anger or to punish.  We do so in order to take a long, hard look at what we are accomplishing, instead of rushing it through.

       I realize that many legislators will be concerned because we have a Governor of the opposite party who will be appointing four new judges.  That raises concerns for everyone, as it should.  Should one person be given that power?  Obviously, the answer is no, even if he is the most ethical, intelligent person in the world.  So we must watch this process very closely, so that it is not done hastily or with any political intent.  I feel confident that will be done.

       I completely understand the thinking of some that we should remove only Margaret Marshall, but the other three judges who voted with her are intelligent people.  They understood, as well as she, exactly what they were doing.  We must begin with a clean slate.  That is the only way we will bring peace to a state which has been badly divided.  And none will deny that we are deeply divided today.

       I will be filing my Resolution of Address again this session.  We must also understand that under my Resolution, there could not, and should not, be one big vote to remove all four judges.  That would be grossly unfair.  There must be a vote on each judge individually.  That is the only fair thing to do.

       Please consider supporting this very serious matter by signing onto my Resolution of Address.

Sincerely,

/s/ Emile J. Goguen

State Representative

3rd Worcester District



 




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