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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Victory in Massachusetts

posted by on June 14 at 10:44 AM

From the Human Rights Campaign…

Today, during a joint session, Massachusetts lawmakers voted 151 to 45 to defeat a measure that would have placed a discriminatory, anti-marriage constitutional amendment before voters on the November 2008 ballot. The proposed amendment threatened to undo the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s historic 2003 decision making the state the first to recognize marriage equality for same-sex couples.

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"...I believe God [did] something special today." heh

Posted by Carollani | June 14, 2007 10:48 AM

Wow, that is amazing!

Posted by Original Andrew | June 14, 2007 10:51 AM

And you were worried.

Posted by elswinger | June 14, 2007 10:52 AM


Posted by Mr. Poe | June 14, 2007 10:56 AM

This made my day!

Posted by arduous | June 14, 2007 10:59 AM

And I use to hate living there. I think I'm ready to move there now.

Posted by Mr. Designer | June 14, 2007 11:03 AM

Deval had it right: if this has passed, the next 18 months would have been all about this. With this out of the way, a huge conservative fly-paper issue to distract voters from the Presidential race has been removed. Woohoo!

Posted by torrentprime | June 14, 2007 11:06 AM
8 are making me wish it didn't go the way it did.

Just because this was stopped in MA doesn't change anything.

The erosion was halted today. No progress has been made. Yeah, it's good news. I live in CA - no marriage. In MA they can get married with no Federal recognition and a requirement of constant vigilance.


Posted by patrick | June 14, 2007 11:10 AM

It makes our pending domestic partnership rights look so weak.

Hooray for Massachusetts. One revolution down, many to go.

Next stop: New York.

Posted by bitch on heels | June 14, 2007 11:14 AM

patrick @ 8,

I know watching this spectacle is emotionally draining, but progress in the US takes generations.

Just 10 years ago, it would have been unthinkable that a state legislature would vote to legalize marriage equality and now CA has done it twice!

It's highly likely that the CA Supreme Court will order the Governator to sign a bill legalizing marriage equality, so don't give up hope; this genie is not going back in the bottle.

Posted by Original Andrew | June 14, 2007 11:16 AM

I like to think of it as the horse being out of the barn, as it's so much more butch, but other than that what Andrew @10 said.

Posted by Mark Mitchell | June 14, 2007 11:22 AM

Yeah! Now if we could just get the legislators in my home state of Bigot, er, Rhode Island off the stick, New England will be a solid block of gay friendliness.

Posted by Providence | June 14, 2007 11:24 AM

Uh oh, I just realized that the baby Jesus is gonna go on a killing spree in Mississippi over this.

Posted by Original Andrew | June 14, 2007 11:34 AM

The Governator being forced to do something? Id like to think so, OA (#10) we'll have to wait and see...the problem is that it's never really over.

Let's say Schwance vetoes the bill again, and then the courts decide in favor of same sex couples. Next, we get a ballot initiative in CA to amend the state constitution.

It sure does take decades for the land of the idiot to comprehend its own slogan.

For today, I say hurrah! The initiatives from the Washington State Defense of Marriage alliance are the most brilliant pieces of justice circulating in this daft hole of a country.

Posted by patrick | June 14, 2007 11:44 AM

Shouldn't those sort of things be left up to the people of the state? Granted the legislature is supposed to be the voice of the people but shouldn't the people be able to decide one way or the other through an up or down vote whether they want Gay Marriage?

By declining a statewide vote you're denying the people a chance to exercise their voice and liberty.

A controversial topic like this should not be left up to a court made up of a few individuals who were appointed by the President/Governor/Legislature. Let the people be spoken for through a statewide vote.

Posted by Cato | June 14, 2007 11:51 AM

I don't get Ahnold. There is no political reason for him to veto the bill because the highest office he can seek is Senator of California. He can't be President without a Constitutional Amendment, so pandering to Midwest or Southern Evangelical Christians is pointless. If anything, if he signed the bill, he would be marginally more respected on the left.

Posted by elswinger | June 14, 2007 11:54 AM

Pretty sure you just contradicted yourself there, Cato.
The fact that we have a representational system is so "the people" can't subjugate a minority. The people have spoken by electing the representatives to speak for them.

Posted by Enigma | June 14, 2007 11:57 AM


I'm in CA too, and I understand how you feel, but we/I have to think about the politics of things: we did NOT need a "Save Marriage (for christians)!" on the ballot in 08. It would have sucked oxygen out of the country, given the Christianists something to rally for/around, and hurt a lot of people on the ticket, on both sides. That's not to say that there won't be other initiatives in other states, but this one can sit now for awhile. And the slow progress of marriage equality becoming "normal" will march on.

Posted by torrentprime | June 14, 2007 11:58 AM

I feel like a big ol faggot crying over this :) I'm very happy to actully see a victory.

Come On Washington Its our time!

Posted by CodyBolt | June 14, 2007 12:10 PM

FTR the motion needed only 50 yes votes to put the amendment on the ballot.

Posted by K | June 14, 2007 12:15 PM

Go Mass!

And, Carollani - God did do something special today. "[W]e will not be satisfied until 'justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.'"

Posted by JenK | June 14, 2007 12:17 PM

Cato @ 15,

The US is the only developed nation that allows its citizens to vote on whether the minorities that they hate deserve equal rights; other countries (better countries) consider that immoral.

Why not ask white Southern landowners to decide if they favor slavery?

More recently in 1967, when the US Supreme Court struck down laws against inter-racial marriage, more than 70% of the public was against it. Should there have been a public vote against inter-racial marriages? The words and hysteria from the bigots is exactly the same now as it was then. History repeats itself.

Posted by Original Andrew | June 14, 2007 12:36 PM

I was going to say...what Original Andrew said. Just because a majority favors something does not make it right.

And yay to my homestate of Mass. I never knew how cool you were.

Posted by Dianna | June 14, 2007 1:27 PM

Rhode Island accepts gays married in Mass. Rhode Island has no laws for or against the issue and the Attorney General and later the state courts, has written an order to accept gay marriages from Mass. (the current anti-misogyny law in Mass. only applies if the other state has a law on its books saying such a marriage is illegal, RI doesn't have such a law).

Read more here

Posted by Ramza | June 14, 2007 4:49 PM

Go on and be our shining beacon.

Posted by lymerae | June 14, 2007 5:13 PM

Wow. I had my fingers crossed, hoping the MA legislature would do the right thing. I had no idea that they would do so by such a huge margin. 151 to 45 is a staggering defeat for the right wingers? That should stop them in their tracks for quite some time. It should also embolden some other states that are sitting on the fence to tip over to the marriage equality side.

Posted by SDA in SEA | June 14, 2007 5:27 PM

Now is there any chance that any of the candidates for president will actually make a principled stance and do the right thing and actually promote equal marriage rights... Probably not (principals... Ha, what are those?)

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | June 14, 2007 6:37 PM

The only guy who opps for the name marriage is Kucinich, all the other Ds are for civil unions and removing the part of DOMA that allows the federal government from not recognizing civil union benefits. (According to the recent HRC questionnaire).

As for the Republicans....well their universal support for DADT should be a very big clue on the marriage issue ;)

Posted by Ramza | June 14, 2007 7:40 PM

I kinda choked up reading about this. I figured it would pass and the voters would vote it down, but I kind of feel like people are moving beyond tolerance. It feels good that the CA legislature voted twice to repudiate the idea that I'm less of a human being than others, and it feels good that 77% of legislators in MA repudiated the idea that rights should be up for popular vote. It feels like progress. It feels like this stupid country doesn't hate me as much anymore, or that the haters are in full retreat. And really, these are the kind of marriage victories I want. Courts ordering marriage rights is one thing. It does show an enlightened judiciary acting in their appointed role, but it's a social and political loser. Legislators affirming these decisions or making them without judicial coercion is such a winner, and I know it'll be a generation before the last DOMAs are struck down by the Supreme Court, but I gotta say, it feels so fucking good to win for once.

Posted by Gitai | June 14, 2007 8:12 PM

Well said, Gitai... well said.

Posted by ColoradoPhil | June 14, 2007 10:53 PM

What happened in Massachusetts was actually a victory, but not for the reasons Dan Savage thinks. The victory came out as a result of finally following through on the democratic process - something the state legislature tried to circumvent earlier by trying to deep six the ballot initiative process entirely. The state supreme court, whose previous rulings laid the foundation for gay marriage to begin with, forced the same state lawmakers to go through with the ballot initiative process because the state constitution FORCES them to.

Democracy is about the process, not the results. Dan is seeing a victory because the outcome is one he was hoping for. He should be happier about getting what he wanted because it was achieved by genuinely democratic legislative means. If gay marriage rights are upheld by denying the rights of citizens to make their own laws, you're not really winning anything.

Posted by Roger Williams | June 15, 2007 4:21 AM

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