September 14th, 2005

me at star

Marriage amendment update

According to the Associated Press, the Great and General Court of Massachusetts (what any other state would call the Legislature), sitting as a Constitutional Convention, has just soundly defeated an amendment to the state Constitution that would have banned gay marriage.
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I'm not surprised, but I am pleased at the outcome.

I am pleasantly surprised, though, at how strong the vote was. And that's very good news. Y'see, there's another proposed amendment out there, which would ban both gay marriage and civil unions. However, that amendment is going through the ballot initiative process; the backers are aiming for a 2008 vote. To get there, they first need some 65000+ signatures, which they might well get. Then, it needs at least 25% of the vote in two consecutive Constitutional Conventions to make it to the ballot. Then, obviously, they need to win at the ballot box.

Now, there are 200 votes in the Constitutional Convention (160 reps, 40 senators). If the 157 votes against banning gay marriage hold up, then the amendment fails. The amendment rejected today would have instituted civil unions, and so some of the votes against it might have been anti-civil-union rather than pro-gay-marriage. Even so, that's a resounding vote.