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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Pray for Massachusetts

...where the State Legislature has used strong-arm tactics to prevent a vote on same-sex "marriage," even though the people of the State signed a petition for the vote and the State Constitution required the Legislature to deal with it.

The Massachusetts Family Institute explains:

What Happened During the Nov. 9 UNConstitutional Convention

On November 9, the Massachusetts legislature voted 109 to 87 to recess the Constitutional Convention without taking a vote on the people's amendment on marriage. This shameful, cowardly act has drawn the ire of on-air personalities, media outlets and commentators throughout Massachusetts and around the county, not to mention the 170,000 disenfranchized Massachusetts citizens who signed the petition. Many of those speaking out against the legislature support gay marriage, but they recognize the larger implications for democracy and public accountability of the legislators' deception in not taking a vote on the people's business.

Each of the 109 legislators who voted to recess with the intention of never coming to a vote violate Article 48 of the Constitution, which says that the legislature shall vote on all initiative petitions duly brought forth by the people. Those leading this effort were House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi and the presiding officer of the Constitutional Convention, Senate President Robert Travaglini.

As of the morning of the Convention, VoteOnMarriage.org and Mass. Family Institute learned that a majority of the legislators did not want to vote to recess. However, Speaker DiMasi, effectively arm-twisted lawmakers in his caucus to support a recess vote. For his part, Senate President Travaglini did not have to allow a vote to recess and in doing so was a co-conspirator to denying the 170,000 petition signers and every citizen in Massachusetts their right to a vote on marriage.

Newspaper editorials from Lawrence to Quincy and beyond condemned the recess. Governor Romney and Howie Carr said they disgraced their oath of office.

As of this writing, MFI is working with VoteOnMarriage.org strategists to review all possible options going forward, as is Governor Romney. Because of the nature of the "recess," the anti-amendment legislators provided little recourse-by design-to those of us who believe in the rule of law and obeying the Constitution. Additionally, House Minority Whip George Peterson is calling for an Ethics Commission investigation on the recess vote. We thank him for this courageous stand.

In addition, CNN reports that Governor Romney will appear at a rally this Sunday to demand a vote.

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