View Full Version : Anti-gay marriage amendment defeated
Opponents to gay marriage failed to get enough votes in the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention to move the proposed constitutional amendment to the ballot in 2008.
Here's a breaking news alert:
Legislators vote to defeat same-sex marriage ban
By Frank Phillips, Globe Staff
A proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was defeated today by a joint session of the Legislature by a vote of 151 to 45, eliminating any chance of getting it on the ballot in November 2008. The measure needed at least 50 votes to advance.
The vote came after House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, Senate President Therese Murray, and Governor Deval Patrick conferred this morning and concluded that they have the votes to kill the proposal.
06-14-2007, 01:22 PM
By my count, 17 legislators changed their votes since this was voted on last. Talk about education! That's where it's at!
Human Rights Campaign
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 14, 2007
Brad Luna | Phone: 202/216.1514 | Cell: 202/812.8140
Christopher Johnson | Phone: 202/216.1580 | Cell: 202/716.1628
Massachusetts Legislature Defeats Discriminatory Anti-Marriage Amendment
Proposed Amendment Would Have Rolled Back Marriage Equality for Same-Sex
WASHINGTON -- Today, during a joint session, Massachusetts lawmakers voted 151 to 45 to defeat a measure that would have placed a discriminatory, anti-marriage constitutional amendment before voters on the November 2008 ballot. The proposed amendment threatened to undo the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's historic 2003 decision making the state the first to recognize marriage equality for same-sex couples.
"This proposed constitutional amendment was a misguided attempt to put peoples' equal rights to a vote. We are grateful that the overwhelming majority of Massachusetts legislators rejected this divisive measure," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "Today's vote is a reaffirmation of Massachusetts' proud record of choosing equality over discrimination. For the past three years, loving and committed same-sex couples have enjoyed the equal right to marry in Massachusetts. Despite the doomsday predictions of opponents of equality, the sky hasn't fallen, and no one's marriage has been threatened. To the contrary, the institution of marriage has been strengthened as same-sex couples and their families have enjoyed the equal rights and protections they deserve under Massachusetts law. The legislature's action ensures that they will continue to enjoy those equal rights and protections."
The Massachusetts state constitution requires that just one-fourth of elected legislators approve an "initiative amendment" (a proposed constitutional amendment introduced in the legislature by initiative petition signed by a specified number of voters), in consecutive joint legislative sessions before the proposed amendment goes to the voters. Opponents of equality gathered signatures to place the proposed anti-marriage amendment before the legislature by initiative petition. Last January, 62 of the state's 200 legislators voted in favor of the proposed amendment, which would define marriage "only as the union of one man and one woman." If 50 or more legislators had voted in favor of the proposed amendment today, it would have been placed before the voters on the 2008 ballot.
Solmonese added: "We hope that this decisive vote puts to an end, once and for all, attempts to bypass the Supreme Judicial Court's historic decision in the Goodridge case. The system worked; the court did its job by applying the state constitution to guarantee equal protection for all Massachusetts citizens and legislators did their job by defeating the anti-marriage amendment, which sought to return same-sex couples to second-class status. Now, we look forward to seeing other states join Massachusetts in recognizing marriage equality and putting an end to discrimination against same-sex couples and their families."
Today's vote comes as other states are considering providing equal marriage rights to same-sex couples under state law. Earlier this month, the California state Assembly passed a bill that would provide same-sex couples with the equal right to marry under state law. Marriage equality legislation has also been introduced and is still pending in Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. The so-called Defense of Marriage Act denies the equal rights, benefits, and responsibilities of marriage to same-sex couples under federal law.
"Today, the legislature made a powerful statement that it's wrong to vote on rights," said Marc Solomon, Campaign Director for MassEquality, a coalition of local and national organizations defending equal marriage rights for same-sex couples in Massachusetts. "This is a day for all of Massachusetts to celebrate. We thank The Human Rights Campaign for its early and significant support of MassEquality. HRC's contributions of financial resources and staff time were critical parts of our campaign to defeat this dangerous amendment."
The Human Rights Campaign is proud to have partnered with Mass Equality to work to defeat the anti-marriage amendment. Since the Goodridge decision in 2003, the Human Rights Campaign has invested more than $1 million in the work of MassEquality. In the weeks leading up to today's vote, HRC sent four staff members to Massachusetts, who devoted hundreds of hours to defeating the discriminatory amendment.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
06-14-2007, 01:41 PM
I'm so glad about this!
06-14-2007, 02:24 PM
Me too! Go Mass!!!!!! Thanks for the update, BenL. :love::love::love::love:
06-14-2007, 03:02 PM
06-14-2007, 09:50 PM
The video below is of the Religious Coalition for the Freedom Marry marching from the interfaith service at 7:30 in the morning, across Boston Common, and across Beacon Street to join pro-equality demonstrators in front of the State House.
06-14-2007, 10:11 PM
WASHINGTON, D.C—Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy released the following statement in response to the vote today by the Massachusetts legislature on same sex marriage.
"The nation’s eyes were on Massachusetts today, and they saw a triumph for civil rights and fundamental fairness. Today's historic vote will have a national impact on civil rights for years to come. Massachusetts has led the nation in education, in health care and in biotechnology, and today Massachusetts renewed its commitment as a proud leader in civil rights.”
06-14-2007, 10:30 PM
BOSTON, June 14 — Same-sex marriage will continue to be legal in Massachusetts, after proponents in both houses won a pitched months-long battle on Thursday to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman.
“In Massachusetts today, the freedom to marry is secure,” Gov. Deval Patrick said after the legislature voted 151 to 45 against the amendment, which needed 50 favorable votes to come before voters in a referendum in November 2008.
The vote means that opponents would have to start from Square 1 to sponsor a new amendment, which could not get on the ballot before 2012. Massachusetts is the only state where same-sex marriage is legal, although five states allow civil unions or the equivalent.
Thursday’s victory for same-sex marriage was not a foregone conclusion, especially after the amendment won first-round approval from the previous legislature in January, with 62 lawmakers supporting it.
As late as a couple of hours before the 1 p.m. vote on Thursday, advocates on both sides of the issue said they were not sure of the outcome. The eleventh-hour decisions of several legislators to vote against the amendment followed intensive lobbying by the leaders of the House and Senate and Governor Patrick, who, like most members of the legislature, is a Democrat.
“I think I am going to be doing a certain number of fund-raisers for districts, and I am happy to do that,” said Mr. Patrick, who said he had tried to persuade lawmakers not only that same-sex marriage should be allowed but also that a 2008 referendum would be divisive and distract from other important state issues.
About 8,500 same-sex couples have married in Massachusetts since the unions became legal in May 2004. In December 2005, opponents, led by the Massachusetts Family Institute, gathered a record 170,000 signatures for an amendment banning same-sex marriage, a measure that was supported by Mr. Patrick’s predecessor, Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican who is now running for president.
Kris Mineau, president of the institute, did not indicate on Thursday whether opponents would start a new petition drive, but said, “We’re not going away.”
“We want to find out why votes switched and see what avenues are available to challenge those votes, perhaps in court,” Mr. Mineau said.
The vote reflected changes in the legislature, the election of Mr. Patrick, and lobbying by national and local gay rights groups.
“This was the focus of our national community,” said Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. “Frankly, a loss today would have been very demoralizing.”
It is difficult to know how support for same-sex marriage has changed since legalization because polls taken before and after have asked different questions. The most recent Massachusetts poll, in April 2007, found that 56 percent of those surveyed would oppose the amendment.
One legislator who switched his vote was Representative Paul Kujawski, Democrat of Uxbridge, saying meetings with gay and lesbian constituents convinced him that “I couldn’t take away the happiness those people have been able to enjoy.”
Mr. Kujawski, who said he grew up in a conservative Roman Catholic neighborhood and had not understood gay relationships, said, “So many people said, ‘I didn’t ask to be gay; I was born this way.’ ”
He added, “Our job is to help people who need help, and I feel the gay side of the issue needed more help than the other side.”
Senator Gale D. Candaras, a Democrat, voted against the amendment Thursday, although she had supported it as a state representative in January. Ms. Candaras said her vote reflected constituent views in her larger, more progressive Senate district and her fear of a vicious referendum campaign.
Most moving, she said, were older constituents who had changed their views after meeting gay men and lesbians. One woman had “asked me to put it on the ballot for a vote, but since then a lovely couple moved in,” Ms. Candaras said. “She said, ‘They help me with my lawn, and if there can’t be marriage in Massachusetts, they’ll leave and they can’t help me with my lawn.”
Unlike several previous constitutional conventions on same-sex marriage with impassioned soliloquies, Thursday’s session took barely 10 minutes. Afterward, supporters of same-sex marriage, many in tears, erupted in standing ovations.
Katie Zezima contributed reporting.
The sky didn't fall in MA.
What state is next do you think? New York or California?
I'm so happy about this!
06-15-2007, 01:54 AM
Got chills all over!:)
06-15-2007, 03:08 AM
Happy for Massachusetts:weee::weee::weee::applause:
Wondering when the rest of the nation wakes up!!! I truly do hope the tide is turning for us and that one day in the next few years, all of the US will have full equality(gay marriage, a hate crimes bill intact to protect us, and protections in employment, housing and insurance) but until then, we languish here in Texas, where our beloved governor would have all of us vacate the state. :headbang::headbang::headbang::mad::mad::mad::mad:
BTW, how cold does it get in Massachusetts?:rainbow::rainbow::rainbow:
06-15-2007, 09:29 AM
From one who changed her mind and why. Interesting read.
We need more of this!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
One lawmaker, in her own words, who changed her vote on same-sex marriage
By Globe Staff
In January at the end of the last legislative session, Representative Gale Candaras, a Democrat from Wilbraham, voted in favor of a constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage. Candaras returned to the Legislature as a senator and changed her position, voting today against the same-sex marriage ban.
Candaras issued a statement today after the Constitutional Convention to explain her vote. It appears below in its entirety.
"There are many compelling arguments on both sides of the same gender marriage debate. There are important issues of civil rights, the role of the judiciary, and of course, my role as a legislator and voter in the state constitutional convention, which I have had to consider. This is the highest responsibility of public office: one that transcends the swirl of the issues of the day and one that has to be in the best interest of the Commonwealth for a long time to come. We engage in any process to change our constitution with only the greatest care, and sober reflection.
“We have had an open and vigorous debate on this issue for several years now, and every possible argument on all sides has been made and has had a thorough hearing. No one can honestly say that they have not had the opportunity to be heard, and to participate in a wide ranging, public discussion. As difficult as it has sometimes been, I think we should be proud of how we have conducted ourselves to arrive at where we are today, and that we have done right by the generations that have come before in the hope of making a democratic and constitutional order work as well as humanly possible—just as we now seek to do right by those who will come after us.
“For me, what all this comes down to is this: Same gendered couples are taxpaying, law-abiding citizens, who are important community contributors, well-loved and well-respected by their families, friends, neighbors and employers. They deserve and are entitled to the same legal protections enjoyed by all others citizens of our state. This is the law of the Commonwealth, articulated by our Supreme Judicial Court in Goodrich v. The Department of Public Health, decided in November, 2003.
“Despite dire predictions, there has been no adverse societal impact from this decision and most people now express little concern about same gender marriage.
“Springfield and Western Massachusetts needs these families, and all our families, to help rebuild our neighborhoods and the peaceful and productive society to which I know, whatever our differences on some things, we all aspire. As a practical matter, I believe we simply cannot afford to marginalize our human resources. Most importantly, I feel strongly that no child should ever be made to feel "less than" or "second-best" nor should any of our children be exposed to a public campaign focused on adult matters of personal privacy. There is altogether too much unseemly information brought into our homes and schools already. It is in the best interests of our children that we accept fully these new families.
“I also want to address directly one of the more contentious issues in this debate: Same gender couples have been adopting children and building families here in the Commonwealth for about twenty years. In many instances, same gendered couples have adopted children with severe challenges, children no one else wanted, and they have worked miracles with them. These children would have lived lives of despair without these families. This underscores how we cannot afford to marginalize any of our people; make anyone second-class citizens. We are all precious resources to each other, and to generations yet to come.
“We have had a full and fair public discussion and debate, and today we must settle this matter so we can move on to other issues of equal and, perhaps, even greater import to our state. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said that the finality of judgments is the concession we make to the shortness of life.
“I know from listening to my constituents, since I first became Senator this year that this vote, the vote I take today, is the right vote for the people I serve. I have been most impressed by the number of individuals who have called me and asked me to change my vote because they have changed their minds. One grandmother told me she had changed her mind and wanted me to change my vote in case one of her grandchildren grew up to be gay or lesbian. She did not want any of her grandchildren to be denied the right to marry the person they love. This is exactly the legacy we will leave to generations beyond us, and the example we can set for the nation and, I daresay the world, which is certainly paying attention to what we do and say here today.
“A great deal of energy and passion has been focused on this issue by both sides. It is my most ardent wish that, with the settlement of this matter, and as we all leave here today, all the energy and passion we have held on this issue be redirected towards solving the crises of child abuse, child neglect, domestic violence, homelessness, hunger, criminalization of the mentally ill and so many more social problems that require our urgent and thoughtful attention.
“I believe that we can do this. And that the tremendous knowledge, political and social skills we have developed in the course of this remarkable debate, can transform our political life together in ways that will help us be far better off as a state and as a nation than if we had never had this debate, and all that we have done to bring us here today.”
06-15-2007, 09:34 AM
The day that was in Massachusetts
by John Aravosis (DC) · 6/14/2007 07:11:00 PM ET
Just got a really interesting email from Chris Johnson, the Human Rights Campaign's online outreach guy, regarding today's big victory in Massachusetts
Marty Rouse, Human Rights Campaign National Field Director, was at the Massachusetts state capital for today’s historic constitutional convention vote that would determine if same-sex marriage rights would be threatened by a statewide vote on the 2008 ballot. After three years of equal marriage rights that resulted in almost 9,000 same-sex marriages in Massachusetts, supporters of the anti-marriage amendment needed at least 50 votes to win and put the amendment on the ballot.
As the former campaign director for MassEquality (www.massequality.org), Marty has played a key role in each step of the fight for equal marriage rights in Massachusetts. This is a first-hand account of the final moments, as he relayed it to us, leading up to today’s vote and the immediate aftermath of today’s historic win.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007 9:15 PM
[Following an email from MassEquality campaign director Marc Solomon that Rep. Vallee will vote against the amendment] This is a hopeful sign. No one wants to be the first to go public with a switch unless there is a good chance many more will follow.
More meetings tonight and tomorrow before the 1pm ConCon.
Thursday, June 14, 2007 11:41 AM
Pandemonium outside the statehouse. Police have put opposing sides across the street from each other. Signs everywhere. Our side gets the overwhelming number of honks from the passing cars. Even the duck tour boat passengers are cheering us on.
Volunteers are handing out Dunkin Donuts to keep our blood flowing as if we need it. Adrenaline is everywhere.
Thursday, June 14, 2007 12:41 PM
Just got out of a closed door meeting of 30 or so of the legislative leaders who support marriage equality and are whipping for final votes. Scarfing down sandwiches held together with toothpicks adorned with American flags the meeting is in the basement of St. Paul's Episcopal Church across the Boston Common.
The mood is serious as every possible move is being plotted. It is almost reverent as legislators' are keenly aware of what is about to happen in less than one hour.
The leaders, Senator Stan Rosenberg and House Member Byron Rushing, gave the directions. The vote is expected to happen at 1:00 sharp and to be over quickly, if all goes well.
The legislators in the church are silent and seem to struggle to swallow their lunches. They stream out in silence and now head to the Statehouse. One by one, legislators say to me, “Welcome home.” The crowd outside the Statehouse, now in the thousands, is rather quiet, sensing the seriousness of the moment as the legislators file by them. I am now walking into the Statehouse to, hopefully, see history made in our country.
Thursday, June 14, 2007 12:55
I was the last one to enter the auditorium before they shut down the overcrowded statehouse.
In the 1,000 person auditorium where pro and antis watched on 12 ft TV screen, we all stood as the Senate President gaveled the Convention to order and asked all attendees and visitors to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. We all stood and spoke aloud but shouted ever louder the final two words "with liberty and justice FOR ALL!”
I got goose bumps and we all cheered and many had tears in their eyes.
Then total silence as we awaited the vote.
Thursday, June 14, 2007 1:25 PM
Over in four minutes. The building is shaking with thousands yelling to the legislators as they gather in Nurses' Hall: “THANK YOU! THANK YOU!” Senate president Therese Murray is the first to address the crowd to shouts of, “We LOVE Terry Murray!”
Hundreds shouting, cheering, crying tears of joy. David Wilson, one of the original plaintiff couples is here hugging everyone.
Thursday, June 14, 2007 1:44 PM
Governor Deval Patrick is now addressing the crowd, or trying to. The crowd is going wild. “Thank you, Deval!" "Today the freedom to marry is secure," he begins, to wild cheering.
Thursday, June 14, 2007 2:14 PM
The crowd of about 1,000 is leaving the now steamy statehouse and joining another 1,000 or so for an impromptu rally outside the statehouse steps.
Legislative allies, many of the 151 who voted against the marriage amendment are walking up the steps and being introduced via megaphone by a now-hoarse Marc Solomon, the tenacious Campaign Director of MassEquality.
Looking around at the old, young, black, white, and brown faces, I am starting to understand just what a momentous occasion we now have.
Massachusetts has now secured marriage equality not only by a court but by an overwhelming majority of elected representatives of the Commonwealth. Generations will always look back at this time and place.
The bar has been set for equality, nothing more and nothing less.
Thursday, June 14, 2007 3:02 PM – Marty reflects on his experiences working for marriage equality in Massachusetts.
It was a moving moment stepping into my old office at MassEquality and seeing the maps the charts. Together over many years we have built a politically powerful movement.
Here in Massachusetts, politicians have witnessed firsthand that a vote against the GLBT community can cost them their job. And just as important as the flexing of the political muscle is the need to be open and never give up on anyone.
The power of talking openly about your life to family, friends coworkers, and yes, legislators, makes change. From my recent vantage point of being in DC, I now see that Massachusetts has made a difference in my life and in so many others. The sacrifices so many have made, the long hours, the travel, the cajoling, the raising of money and more money, the speaking with the enemy to find some bit of common ground, all of that has been worth every moment.
I am so honored to have had this opportunity to help in my small way to make our country better for my sons, Sasha and David, and for the future of all of us. All you need is love.
Great pics here: http://www.towleroad.com/2007/06/one_day_in_mass.html
06-15-2007, 12:49 PM
THis is wonderful! I cried reading these!
Thank you Daniel. :love:
06-15-2007, 04:34 PM
Great pics here: http://www.towleroad.com/2007/06/one_day_in_mass.html
The video from the rally posted there sent chills down my spine!
06-15-2007, 05:19 PM
And there's a tonage more to soak up here:
06-15-2007, 07:21 PM
This is what Equality looks like
This is what Democracy looks like
06-15-2007, 08:31 PM
Also, MA isn't the only state that allows gay marriage. VT legalized it before MA did, so I'm not sure why Yahoo's article didn't mention that.
Here is a moving (to me) account of the struggle of conscience that two local legislators went through before changing their positions on the anti-gay marriage amendment:
Change of vote defended: Kujawski relied on conscience
By Lee Hammel TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
Who knows what would have happened if the Rev. Michael Roy had not been on vacation Thursday when state Rep. Paul J. Kujawski stopped by the Sacred Heart rectory in Webster just before 9 a.m.
The heart of the conservative Democrat was heavy.
For months after he voted in January with opponents of gay marriage who wanted to place the question on the ballot for voters to decide, he had been inundated with calls from both sides of the issue.
The 8th Worcester District representative was wavering now, with a second and final vote on the topic coming up at the Constitutional Convention that day. Rev. Roy had been a supporter of Mr. Kujawski after he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol several years ago, someone the representative could count on, someone who gave him advice — including advice to give the voters a chance to amend the constitution so that marriage could be between only one man and one woman.
Mr. Kujawski said yesterday he did not know when he woke up Thursday morning how he would vote, and “I wanted to ask for some advice and just let him (Rev. Roy) know that it was very, very difficult.”
Rev. Roy was not there.
Four hours later, Mr. Kujawski, D-Webster, became one of nine legislators to change their vote, reversing the result of the Constitutional Convention so that the proposed amendment cannot be put before voters at least until 2012. With a minimum of 50 votes needed to place the proposed amendment on the ballot, the result Thursday was 151- 45 against.
It hasn’t been much easier since the vote for Mr. Kujawski than it was before. He doesn’t know how many calls he’s gotten since Thursday, either in praise or berating him.
“There are some people who called who said ‘You’ll never win (an election) again.’ There were emotional outbursts of disappointment.
“They called me unmentionable names. There have been some real insulting and unmentionable statements.”
They don’t outweigh the congratulations from others and especially the “hugs and tears and smiles” from Deb and Sharon, two lesbians whom Mr. Kujawski said explained their story to him and, like many other gay people and their relatives mostly from his district, made him understand how difficult it was to be denied a right to marry the person they love.
Because of people like them he has had “no second thoughts. I firmly believe I’ve done the right thing,” he said.
He said he hopes someday to be able to sit down with those who are too angry to talk to him now to explain the journey that took him from growing up in a Polish Catholic home, voting for the death penalty and the rights of gun owners, as well as against gay rights in January, to someone who changed his vote to support gay marriage.
He said that among the people who asked him to vote against putting gay marriage to a ballot vote were two eucharistic ministers in a parish in his town and two Catholic priests, who asked not to be identified, from outside his district.
Mr. Kujawski said gay rights opponents have accused those who switched their votes of seeking or being offered jobs or other benefits. But he said when he accepted the invitation to the office of House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, who removed Mr. Kujawski from his committee chairmanship after Mr. DiMasi became speaker, the speaker explained the importance of a “no” vote, but offered no jobs or benefits.
Mr. Kujawski said, “Sure, you always want to be in leadership, but that was the furthest thing from my mind. I have asked for nothing and nobody’s offered me anything,” he said.
By the time Mr. Kujawski took the turnpike and reached the Statehouse Thursday “the bottom line came down to putting myself in the position of what if I was gay. How would I want to be treated?” After he decided that gay people needed his help more than the opponents did, he took no more calls at his Statehouse office, including one from Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston.
Mr. Kujawski said he fully intends to run for state representative again and said he believes the people of the district will support him as they always have.
He said he changed his vote because he had never heard the “real life stories” of people whose lives had been damaged by their exclusion from a right that heterosexuals have. He said he lacked knowledge of the lives of gay people, perhaps because no one approached him with such stories previously because of his reputation as a conservative.
Meanwhile, same-sex marriage opponents yesterday vowed to unseat four lawmakers who campaigned on a promise of supporting a constitutional ban but abandoned that position on Thursday.
Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, said the legislators, two freshman Democrats and two Republicans in the House, would be targeted with opponents in next year’s election. They are Richard J. Ross, R- Wrentham; freshman Geraldo Alicea, D-Charlton; Paul J.P. Loscocco, R-Holliston; and freshman Angelo J. Puppolo Jr., D-Wilbraham.
Mr. Alicea said he wasn’t lying last year when he told voters he supported the amendment. “That’s what I believed at that point,” he said.
“I was not misinforming voters. Once I got elected, I had more resources available to understand what was taking place. I also had more time and opportunity to hear what others had to say.
“I think the people in my district, when they talk to me, will realize I voted with my heart, in good conscience. Once they see how important it was that I make the right vote, they will understand.”
Nine incumbent lawmakers switched their position and opposed the amendment on Thursday, just five months after giving it their support.
Mr. Mineau, whose group led the signature drive that put the proposed amendment before the Legislature, said supporters will also decide soon whether to move ahead with another amendment effort.
“It’s too soon to say, 24 hours later, that we have our 12-step plan for recovery” he said. “But we are dedicated to putting together a recovery plan that will unfold in the days ahead.”
The words of defiance from gay marriage opponents were tempered yesterday by the recognition that they had been clearly outnumbered and outmaneuvered by their gay rights advocates, who were seeking to protect the state high court decision that legalized gay marriage four years ago.
“The people who are advocating same-sex marriage are very, very determined,” said former Boston mayor and US ambassador to the Vatican Raymond L. Flynn.
“They’re very active, and they participate in the process. give them credit: They know how to wage a political campaign, and politicians respond to that kind of pressure.”
Flynn conceded that it may be futile to try again to place a gay marriage ban before voters in Massachusetts.
“Clearly the petition can be ignored by the Legislature,” said Mr. Flynn, adding that supporters of “traditional families” need to galvanize and become as politically active and vocal as the forces in favor of same-sex marriage.
Material from The Boston Globe was used in this report.
I'm sorry this excerpt is so long, but as one affected immediately, it was incredibly moving. Rep. Alicea is our representative, and Rep. Kujawski is only one town away. This story shows that legislators are capable of struggling with things they are not comfortable with. It also shows how important it is to tell our stories. These men are typical of most people. They need to hear from their GLBT constituents to know how important all this is to us.
06-16-2007, 10:57 AM
The sky didn't fall in MA.
What state is next do you think? New York or California?
I'm so happy about this!
I would love to say California and our same sex marriage bill is sailing through the legislature. Unfortunately our governor has vowed to veto this bill as he did last year. We won't give up, but we might not get anywhere until we vote in someone else to lead the state.
Progo, VT has civil unions, not marriage. I'm not exactly sure what priviledges is allows and what it might not. MA is the only state that has legalized same sex marriage. It might sound the same, but it's not.
06-16-2007, 02:32 PM
Whatever state is next, I hope it starts an avalanche of precedents that lead to the eventual federal statute that allows gay marriage in all 50 states. Like I have said before, the churches don't have to marry us. There are plenty of gay affirming churches who will. The time is now, the pendulum seems to be swinging our way. SWING, BABY, SWING!!!!!
California's governor needs to understand he can't keep denying the gay and lesbian constituency it's constitutional right to marry. If he keeps vetoing the legislation, he needs to understand it isn't going anywhere. The fact that it keeps coming up and the legislature keeps sending it to him, indicates to me that the voters DO want equality in marriage. The legislators speak for their constituents, DON'T THEY?:rolleyes:
06-16-2007, 07:32 PM
The fact that it keeps coming up and the legislature keeps sending it to him, indicates to me that the voters DO want equality in marriage. The legislators speak for their constituents, DON'T THEY?:rolleyes:
Yes, they are suppose to, just as a governor is suppose to bow to the will of the people. However, good ole Arnie is bowing to the will of his party in hopes of getting the opportunity to one day run for the Presidentcy. See he wants a proposal to allow non-natural US citizens to be allowed to run for Presidential office. He is hoping his strong stance on the "hot button" issues will keep him in the good graces of his party and they will support a such a proposal.
Personally, and I have said it before, I dont feel that anyone that is not a natural born US citizen should be allowed to hold any public office, not even a local office. I dont understand how he even got elected. If it wasnt for his "popularity" as a film star, he wouldnt have had a snowballs chance in hell. That is the only reason that he was ever elected into office.
The legislature can send him bill after bill and he will continue to veto it every time it comes across his desk. It will be up to the people to actually do what Mass had to do, take it to court and fight for the right to legally MARRY, not just have a civil union. I dont care what your state constitution says. Here in Michigan, the voters approved an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman. So here, like other states, it is going to be up to the courts to decide the issue. No state constitution can trump the US Constitution, that is the SUPREME LAW. Like may of the lawmakers in Mass stated, "you cannot vote on peoples rights." That is one of the truest statements I have heard on this issue. How can one group of people inflict their beliefs upon another group? They cannot under the Constitution. Those lawmakers in Mass saw that fact and voted the correct way. They may be feeling the tide of anger from the anti-gay supporters, however, they saw the real side of the story. The side that the anti-gay supporters dont want you to see, that the GLBT community is no different from everyone else. They want us to be seen as molesters of children, rapist, sexual deviants, drug abusers, whores, spousal abusers, the list goes on and on. America, at least I think, is starting to catch on and really wake up to the true facts about the GLBT community. They are starting to see through the rhetoric and lies that are vomited out about us. They are seeing the anti-gay supporters for what they really are, nothing more than a common BIGOT!!!
I am so happy for you Mass.:applause::weee: Yes, I too think the tide is turning for us. It is far from over, we still have a ways to go, but the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter. Like it was said in a post above, it has been four years and Mass is still here. It hasnt been wiped off the face of the earth. Doomsday hasnt come. Mass is a turning point for all of the GLBT community. I think this is going to be the big wake up call. National recognition of gay marriage is on the horizon, no matter how much the anti-gay people want to piss an moan about it. I have said it before and I will say it until the day I die...we arent asking for special rights, we are DEMANDING the rights that are guaranteed to us by the US Constitution. No religion or belief has the authority to take those rights from us, just as we dont have the right to take away a persons right to believe whatever they so choose, no matter how STUPID and MORONIC it may be.
Well, those are my two cents. Thanks for putting up with my rant.
Love to all,
06-17-2007, 05:25 AM
I have said it before and I will say it until the day I die...we arent asking for special rights, we are DEMANDING the rights that are guaranteed to us by the US Constitution. No religion or belief has the authority to take those rights from us, just as we don't have the right to take away a persons right to believe whatever they so choose, no matter how STUPID and MORONIC it may be.
Not a rant at all Scott. It's the truth: we are demanding what is due us as citizens.
Progo- tdogg is right on the money. Vermont legislated Civil Unions. New Jersey has legislated them as well. They are not the same as marriage.
What Civil Unions do is establish a system that proposes to be separate but equal. Unfortunately, GLBT persons, and the public at large, do not see Civil Unions are being equal to marriage. This is underlined by the fact that 10 percent of those with Civil Unions who apply for benefits in NJ are having trouble getting them.
In short: separate is NOT equal.
Civil Unions are a step in the right direction. However, GLBT persons want the whole enchilada.
As one website says it, we're Good as You.
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