Thursday, June 14, 2007

Massachusetts Amendment Dead

An update to my earlier post.

It's done. The fundies didn't get the votes they needed for tyranny of the majority:

(Boston, Massachusetts) Massachusetts lawmakers on Thursday took less than a half hour to kill bid to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage.

"The vote today was the triumph of time, experience, and understanding over fear and prejudice," said Lee Swislow, the executive director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, in a statement.

GLAD was the legal group that won the 2003 landmark ruling making Massachusetts the first state to legalize same-sex marriage.

"Today, the legislature made a powerful statement that it’s wrong to vote on rights," said Marc Solomon, Campaign Director for MassEquality.

Because the marriage amendment was citizen-based it required only 50 votes. The final vote was 151 - 45. That means the issue cannot be put to voters in 2008, and will force supporters of the measure to begin collecting signatures all over again.

If proponents of the amendment do gain the signatures needed the measure would again have to go to two consecutive sessions of the legislature.

The earliest it could be put to voters would be 2012 [Yes!!!]. With public opinion polls showing Massachusetts voters becoming increasingly comfortable with same-sex marriage it is considered unlikely any amendment would be approved.