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Massachusetts betrayal on marriage.

The Massachusetts state legislature on July 12 betrayed voters supporting traditional marriage by voting to postpone putting a marriage initiative on the ballot until (at least) after the November election. And nobody is banking on the legislature voting to put the marriage initiative on a future ballot, when the state legislature's joint session (called a "constitutional convention") reconvenes. This despite the fact that the required number of signatures was collected from voters to place the initiative on the ballot. Adoption of such an amendment by the voters would make it part of the state constitution.

This is the second time the Massachusetts legislature has thumbed its nose at voters supporting traditional marriage; the first occurred in 2002, when the legislature refused to put a similar (though superior) initiative on the ballot. The legislature voted to adjourn even though the 48th amendment to the state constitution requires that "a proposal for an amendment to the state constitution introduced by initiative petition shall be voted upon in the form in which it was introduced ... [and] Final legislative action in the joint session upon any amendment shall be taken only by call of the yeas and nays." (Emphasis added.)

The initiative would have defined marriage as a man and a woman under state law, but would "grandfather in"--as it were--those same sex ceremonies already performed under the state Supreme Judicial Court's 2003 Goodridge v. Department of Public Health decision. The grandfathering clause was necessarily flawed because the state constitution bans initiatives directed at reversing judicial decisions.
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Publication:The New American
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U1MA
Date:Aug 7, 2006
Words:254
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