The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Massive Victory in Mass

I missed this earlier, as I was busy keeping Parker entertained, but apparently there was a huge marriage victory in Massachusetts today.

By a 151-to-45 vote, the Massachusetts Legislature today defeated a proposed state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., invested significant staff and other resources (totaling $460,000) to protect marriage equality in Massachusetts. Moreover, the Task Force played an essential role in today’s victory: Task Force organizers led the effort that convinced two conservative legislators — Sen. Gale Candaras and Rep. Angelo Puppolo — to listen to their constituents and switch their votes to support equality. Candaras has repeatedly voted against marriage equality, while legislative newcomer Puppolo initially ran a pro-amendment campaign. These switches provided two of the eight votes needed to win the margin of victory.

You can get an idea of how important this was from NGLTF Executive Director Matt Foreman’s statement.

“Today’s vote averts a divisive, defamatory and hugely expensive campaign that our national community would have had to wage between now and 2008 to preserve the freedom to marry in the one state where we have it. The repercussions — in terms of saved energy and millions of dollars that can now be devoted to other pressing priorities — cannot be overstated.

“I am extremely proud that the hardcore grassroots work of National Gay and Lesbian Task Force organizers delivered two of the critical eight votes needed to win today. Once again, our organizers — this time Becca Ahuja, Jason Cooper and Zaheer Mustafa — were asked to do the seemingly impossible in Massachusetts and we delivered.

“We salute the leadership of MassEquality, especially Marc Solomon and his predecessor Marty Rouse. For three and a half years, our friends and colleagues in the Bay State mounted the country’s most extensive and hard-driving field campaign to win a decisive victory and to drive a stake through the heart of a mean-spirited and cruel proposed amendment to the world’s oldest constitution. We are proud to be their partners in this historic fight and share their inexpressible relief and joy.”

Congratulations to NGLTF and all the couples married in Massachusetts.

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4 Comments

  1. Pingback: Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator

  2. FYI, this was actually a very close vote, as the delegates only needed 50 votes to put the ban up for a referendum next year…

  3. For more information on Gale Candaras please visit Gale Candaras’ Project Vote Smart Page or call our hotline at 1-888-VOTE-SMART.

    For more information on Angelo Puppolo please visit Angelo Puppolo’s Project Vote Smart Page

    If you need more information on either of these candidates please call our voters’ research hotline at 1-888-VOTE-SMART.

  4. I would like to think that this result would have no impact on the bench in the upcoming Deane v. Conaway same-sex marriage case in Maryland. A political decision in Massachusetts should not at all influence a legal conclusion in Maryland.

    But I am too old and too gray to not know better.

    On the one hand, I could see the result as an affirmation of prevailing mores which may play into some judges’ definitions of fundamental fairness,

    On the other hand, it might lead moderate judges to call the matter as a “political question” susceptible to constitutional process, referendum, etc., i.e. a valid statute like all others.

    Harrumph. Happy Fathers’ Day

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