Monday, April 16, 2007

What’s not worth preserving, and what must be preserved

See this link about Boston's City Hall, praised at its unveiling in the 1960's by the American Institue of Architects (AIA) and hardly anyone else:
I understand that some may want City Hall to stand as a tribute to the 1960’s. I beg to differ. Yale might be prudent in keeping a visually similar building on a university campus, but City Hall simply fails to serve the governed. As a compromise, perhaps the building can be preserved—if the AIA will purchase it—while we fill the lonely, impersonal expanse of City Hall Plaza with a functional and beautiful structure.
But a few blocks away, on Beacon Hill, is much that is far more worthy of preservation. Not just Chas. Bullfinch’s magnificent gold domed edifice, but the constitution enshrined therein, which each member of our government is sworn to uphold. Each is a servant of the same reluctant taxpayers that bought Scollay Square and built a concrete monstrosity in 1962. Forty-two years later, without the consent of the citizens, four members of the Supreme Judicial Court amended our constitution by fiat in the Goodridge decision. It is now up to the Legislature to permit the citizens to vote to undo that change via the Marriage Protection Amendment. I join the Legislature in wishing the best to my homosexual neighbors. My gay and straight friends would agree that I’m a quiet and gentle person myself. But marriage as an enduring union between one man and one women has been explicitly embraced by democratic societies for centuries. The thousands of citizens who have remained committed to their wives and husbands are an imperfect yet compelling reminder of the laws which unite us—and of the consent of the GOVERNed, not the GOVERNors, that protects us.

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