My state representative, John Keenan, replied to my letter taking him and his fellow lawmakers to task for their cowardly decision to avoid a vote on a petition regarding marriage signed by 170,000 Massachusetts voters. The Constitutional Convention—comprised of both houses of the Legislature—are supposed to vote on citizen petitions in two consecutive sessions before they can be included on the ballot. Rather than vote up or down, as required by law, they used a legislative trick—voting to recess—in order to avoid the possibility of losing.
There were only two relevant parts in the letter surrounded by a lot of self-serving blather.
Since the early days of my campaign in 2004, I have been clear on my support for marriage equality. Last Thursday, at the Constitutional Convention, I voted to recess in order to prevent this divisive issue from being put to a popular vote.
There you have it: He voted to subvert democracy. True representative government is messy and divisive. There’s always at least two sides to every issue, usually more. If we were only allowed to vote on matters that were not divisive, we would be indistinguishable from Soviet Russia, Communist China, or Iraq under Saddam. It is not the legislator’s job to decide whether a vote is divisive.
On top of that, he did not actually vote on the matter at all. Instead, he and his co-conspirators—what else can we call them?—voted to subvert the Massachusetts constitution which required an up-or-down vote by the constitutional convention and instead voted to recess until the clock runs out on this session of the Legislature.
Whether they agree with the logic of the constitutional amendment to protect marriage, they are required to vote on the referendum. Seeing themselves about to be defeated, they cheated and broke the law.
Protecting the Constitution as he undermines it