Mr. Dinsdale...says he doesn't know if he's ever had a close friend or family member who is gay. Yet he is strongly opposed to Measure 36.

"It's a folly to change the constitution over this," he says. "It will lead to other evils. I think personal behavior, as long as it within the law, is nobody's business."

He was infuriated by the phone call he received from the Yes on 36 campaign. "When I told them that I had voted no on the measure, the caller got mad and said, 'In Massachusetts, public-school teachers are teaching a pro-gay lifestyle to children starting in kindergarten.' I told him that I no longer wanted to comment and cut him off."

Mr. Dinsdale says it was his wife, a former legal secretary, who helped him open his eyes to appreciate the reality of discrimination. "She was denied the right to go to college due to the Depression," he says, "but she was smart and she educated me."