Doing the Right Thing
May 17, 2014 by Guest contributor
Post submitted by Kathi-Anne Reinstein (D- Revere), State Representative for the 16th Suffolk District from January 1999 - January 2014.
Don’t let the last name fool you: I was raised Catholic. I was also raised on Catholic guilt, but luckily raised by people with unwavering moral compasses who taught me to respect people and treat people as you wish to be treated. When I saw what a “big deal” two people of the same sex marrying was, I was confused, terrified and angry. Not terrified, confused or angry of my feelings, my beliefs, and my sense of self; but confused, terrified and angry by the misinformation, the racism and the hate.
I was raised to stand up for what I believe and to stick up for those that needed help so that’s what I did. What I did wasn’t heroic or spectacular or worthy of praise. I did the right thing – that’s what we’re all supposed to do. But it’s very scary when you’re aware that history is being made and the world is watching you during the time you are “doing the right thing.” It was terrifying at times and it was all worth it – really!
I realize that I played a part in changing opinions across the Commonwealth, the Country and the World. Every time I hear that rights are being added for same sex couples somewhere, I’m thrilled because I am part of why these couples are realizing their dreams. It will always be one of the best things I have ever done in my life and I am thankful for the very good and very bad experiences it brought along the way.
I still stick by my speech that day when I said: “Who cares that two people that love one another want to be married.” My husband and I got engaged during, and married right after Marriage Equality became legal in Massachusetts. It remains humbling that we shared that time with so many others who, for the first time, were able to marry who they love.
Thank you to the plaintiffs, GLAD attorneys, and MassEquality's coalition of 17 organizations that helped to make Massachusetts marriage a reality.
July 24, 2014