So, contrary to all expectations, the Legislature actually voted twice today to push the marriage amendment forward into the next session. Some observations on the day at the State House:
(1) It is unlikely that the vote would have happened today had it not been for the pending lawsuits against the 109 Legislators who were refusing to follow the Constitutional requirement to vote on the citizens' petition. These lawsuits are part of a more assertive, confrontational approach certain pro-family activists have been advocating for the past few years.
(2) Governor-elect Deval Patrick was lobbying today at the State House for the Legislators to again adjourn, and defy their constitutional duty to vote on the citizens' petition. So he's already proven he doesn't respect the Constitution. Not a good start. From the AP story:
Gay rights activists and Democratic Gov.-elect Deval Patrick called on the Legislature to let the measure die without a vote....
Earlier in the day, the governor-elect, who supports gay marriage, met with the leaders of the Democratic-controlled Legislature to argue against a vote, calling it a "question of conscience." Patrick charged that the amendment process was being used to "consider reinserting discrimination into the constitution."
"This is not just another question for popular decision. This is a question, under the equal protection clause, about what freedoms the minority is entitled to," Patrick said.
(3) This was a major blow to the GLBT lobby. Arline Isaacson appears to be barely holding back her tears in the AP photo. But instead of MassEquality closing down (as they speculated they might do after their "victory" in November), we'll have to put up with them for the foreseeable future. Millions will flow into the state to fight the amendment.
(4) The homosexual activists outside on the street had apparently been given orders to tone down their thuggish behavior, after reports and videos of their behavior in November. They were fewer in number and relatively subdued. Inside (in the Gardner Auditorium) after their defeat, they sang defiant songs including "We Shall Overcome" -- still trying to make us believe this is a matter of civil rights, rather than the normalization of perversion.