Thursday, May 17, 2007

Three Years of Marriage for Same-Sex Couples in Massachusetts; Politicos Jockey to Influence Vote on Proposed Amendment

The Boston Globe reported today the margin of votes needed to block a proposed Constitutional amendment to ban marriage for same-sex couples has shrunk to less than half a dozen. This article comes on the third anniversary gays and lesbians began to marry in the Commonwealth. It also ran on the heels of increased legislative lobbying to block the proposed amendment and a $750,000 media campaign to back up these efforts.

Today is a day to celebrate the more than 8,000 same-sex couples who have married in Massachusetts since the Supreme Judicial Court issued its landmark Goodridge decision. Activists suffered a setback earlier this year after Beacon Hill lawmakers approved the proposed amendment. They have had more than four months to reformulate their strategy but they must remain vigilant as they continue to make the case for marriage among legislators and their constituents.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean and other Democratic political operatives have reportedly urged their colleagues in Massachusetts to move quickly to block the proposed amendment. A vote could come as early as June 14 but they clearly want to end the debate before marriage for same-sex couples could become a divisive social issue in the upcoming Presidential elections. The party remains all too aware this issue contributed to their stinging defeat in the last Presidential election. It's intervention into the current debate in Massachusetts remains a blunt example of political posturing for the sake of advancing the party's own White House ambitions. Cynicism aside; the goal must remain to defeat the proposed amendment through a solid [and convincing] campaign. Same-sex couples, especially those who have married in Massachusetts since 2004, deserve nothing less.

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