Today, nothing happened at the Mass. State House (not that there’s anything wrong with that)

Politics | Building/Consensus
It was perhaps the most historic day in Boston so far this year, but I neglected to exit at Park St. on the way work to take a photo of the gathering crowds at the State House. As a punishment, I subjected myself to an hour’s watching of legislative debate on WGBX-44. My reward was finding out that the convention, after rejecting two amendments, will pick up tomorrow. (So I have tomorrow, to try and capture with my digicam, a demonstration of civilities on the steps of the State House).

Correction: today was an ahistoric day. Nothing was passed by the legislative convention; nothing will pass tomorrow, and even if it does, nothing will happen until May when gay marriage comes into effect in Massachusetts. Compounding the nothingness was the fact that nothing much of importance was said. I caught Benjamin Swan of Springfield talk about begin his talk, with a delivery as sonorous as MLK, saying how he did not expect to vote for either of the two amendments… and then being interrupted a few times, and then later invoking MLK, and then ended up voting for the Travaglini-Lees “compromise” amendment. (Surprisingly, that failed by 5 more votes than the Finneran amendment).

Sure, I missed the earlier speeches, a number of which were quite passionate, and provided compelling quotes in the news recap. But they have no consequences. The only person we should expect to hear from now is the officer responsible for enforcing the law: Governor Mitt Romney. Yet a curious headline on this evening states “Romney hints at blocking marriage licenses” (the article it points to doesn’t quite say that, though).

The legislature was too late in trying to implement the “will of the people” (which, according to a Globe/WBZ poll taken of 400 state residents in November, was 53% in favor allowing gay marriage). So with the Governor. As my friend Rick Klein reminds us in today’s Globe, back in 2002, candidate Romney join the Democratic legislative leaders in scuttling a ballot initiative on defining marriage. This was WCVB-5’s angle on the 11 o’clock news. (Cory Atkins of Concord: “The train has left! We voted on this in the Senate, where was the House?”)

The traditionalists cannot turn back time in this case. They can only turn forward and follow the law. And that’s the civilities observation for today.

Postscript: There is actually a part II to this story — I went to the rally the next day. I have the notes, and the photos, and will publish it shortly.