Mass. marriage amendment advances past last-ditch obstacles

Mass. marriage amendment advances past last-ditch obstacles

Despite continuing efforts to be legis-weasels, the Massachusetts Legislature meeting in Constitutional convention voted to push forward a constitutional amendment that would enshrine marriage as one man and one woman. (That we have to do this still boggles my mind.)

The vote was not without drama and last-ditch efforts to undermine the will of the people and the letter of the law in the Constitution.

The amendment survived two separate roll calls, winding up with 62 of a possible 200 votes—12 more than the 50 votes needed to advance the measure. A similar result will be needed in the next legislative session—which begins tomorrow—for the measure to go on the 2008 state ballot.

Supporters of gay marriage won reconsideration of today’s first vote, but were unable to change the final outcome.

Now the same process must be repeated in the legislative session which begins immediately. We’ll see what last-ditch tricks they’ll try to pull out of their bags. I can imagine that some legislators rationalized allowing the vote by saying that there’s still another vote in order to stop it.

Meanwhile Gov.-elect Deval Patrick showed his contempt for the rule of law by encouraging legislators to be derelict in their constitutional duty and fail to vote as the Supreme Judicial Court said they must this past week. Shows what we have to look forward to over the next four years.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
25 comments
  • I’m disappointed that both of my legislators voted no.  I expected that from Robert Rice, but Stephen Brewer’s no vote surprises me.

  • From the news article…

    Governor-elect Deval Patrick urged lawmakers to adjourn the convention without taking a vote, saying it would be “irresponsible and wrong” to continue the debate over same-sex marriage.

    In a statement issued late Tuesday afternoon, Patrick said he was disappointed by the vote.

    “We have never used the initiative petition to limit individual freedoms and personal privacy, but todays vote was a regrettable step in that direction. We have work to do over the next year to turn this around.”

    But we never had a chance to dabate the issue in the first place. What were we suppose to do? All submit amicus briefs to the Supreme Judicial Court when it was heard in front of them? The legislature never actually had a debate creating a statute for gay marriage, they simply followed the court orders.

    So what type of “work” will Patrick do to turn this around? Will he retaliate against the 62 those who are allowing us to debate and vote? We he block state funding to the cities and towns those 62 represent? I can’t think of an ethical way he could “work this out”.

    I’m really cocerned about his comments. It is one thing to be a liberal, and it is another to ignore the law. You wonder why Massachusetts is the only state with its population either dwindling or stagnant, because it is not worth dealing with this well… bull.

  • It was nice to see the Sen. Prez. lay the smack-down on the upstart new Gov., who comes in full of piss and vinegar with his so called mandate. 

    Gov. Deval calls in the leadership of the House and Senate and tells them to essentially “kill it” (right from pages of Bay Windows).  So what does Sen. Prez. do, he calls a roll call vote on the amendment IMMEDIATELY upon reconvening the ConCon.

    Nice show of who is in charge.  You could here him screaming inside:  Take that, Mr. Patrick!  Try to push around the establishment?  I run this Commonwealth and don’t you forget it!!!!

    Bully for you (for once), Presidente Travaglini!!!

  • I’m not sure I’m so excited about Travaglini showing Patrick who’s boss because it’s more about the same old power politics and less about doing their constitutional duty and what’s right.

    It’s the same old political corruption.

  • Am I the only one who noticed the irony in Patrick encouraging the legislators to shirk their duty under the constitution of the Commonwealth (as stated unambiguously in the constitution and reiterated by the Supreme Judicial Court), while in a few days he’ll swear (on a Bible) to uphold the very same constitution?

    When I heard him utter the canard about “writing discrimination into the constitution” I knew we were in trouble.  Even for a politician, he’s a prevaricator!

    Don’t be surprised to hear him pontificate about separation of church and state—just after receiving a public “blessing” from black clergy. 

    Ugh.  Four years of this?

  • Dom:

    I agree that it is (or may be) the same old political corruption. However, in this case it worked out for the good.  I noticed on his web page that Sen. Travaglini is a member of the Knights of Columbus.  I’m hoping that means that at his core, he is with us on this.

  • You can be sure that Arline Isaacson, the major lobbyist for the GLBT and the Mass. Teachers Assoc.(MTA) is already planning strategy to demolish any chance of another victory for the Marriage Amendment in the 2007 session. The MTA is already behind a huge effort to indoctrinate our public school children in the GLBT agenda. This effort is being implemented already in Lexington and Cambridge, in conjunction with Wheelock College, using the Massachusetts LGBT Early Childhood Education Initiative program “Making Room in the Circle”. The Glossary of terms for this indoctrination of the youngest school children reveals their intent. For example, “pansexual” and “two spirit” indocrinate the children to believe that the Creator intended not just male and female but also persons who “house” both male and female genders in their bodies, (therefore rationalizing the concept of “transgendered” and “transexual” in the minds of these young students.  Please look this up on your computer! Why aren’t the pastors and parents of Catholic families whose children are in the lexington and Cambridge school systems openly objecting to this indoctrination of their children? They can easily access this curriculum and see for themselves what their children are being taught!

  • Mark,

    Corruption is corruption and the end doesn’t justify the means. The bigger problem is indeed the corruption and until we get that fixed problems like this will be common.

    I wouldn’t count on Travaglini being secretly one of us. Ted Kennedy belongs to the Knights of Columbus too. It’s a political affiliation and nothing more.

  • I guess I don’t understand why some of the ‘conservative’ Republican legislators (Tarr, Hill and Jones!) voted against the amendment.  I understand why Sen Tisei voted no.

  • Sorry for posting again but it just dawned on me, cynically, that this loss will justify a whole new round of fund-raising efforts in the GLBTQ (blah blah blah) community.

  • Sen. Travaglini is a member of the Knights of Columbus.  I’m hoping that means that at his core, he is with us on this.

    Mark, do you mean like Darth Vader, at his CORE, was still a Jedi Knight?

    Note on KofC membership for pro-abortion/pro-gay marriage politicians.  Don’t expect the KofC to do anything about these guys until the bishops do.  If the bishops don’t consider them to be “out of communion” or “not practical Catholics”, then neither will the KofC.  They will not publicly challenge the heirarchy.

  • Does anyone know if the Constitution requires them to take final action again this year or can they actually ignore it this year?

  • Dom, that’s not what I meant.  It does need to pass twice in consecutive sessions but what I meant was can they this year vote to recess and not take final action on it, like they wanted to do this year?

  • Dom

    Yes, but they could choose not to do just as they could have done yesterday. Unlikely. But two years is a long time.

  • Liam, Sen Tisei is gay.  That doesn’t mean he is required to march in lockstep with the other gay legislators on this issue but he has been consistent in his support of it.

  • As Seinfeld said, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that”.  My next door neighbor is a former alderman so I hear lots of stuff.

  • Well, not all stuff is dependable, as you probably are aware. And I think of a former alderman of mine who pretended to espouse traditional values but who when drunk made a pass at a same-gender neighbor of mine. People say things sometimes to throw others off track…

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