Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mass. Legislature's Scheme to Scuttle VoteOnMarriage Amendment

MassResistance has stated repeatedly that another attempt at a marriage amendment was not the way to go. Enormous resources and energy have been funnelled into's flawed referendum effort. But to what end?

One of our warnings all along has been that the Legislature would find one way or another to kill the amendment in its cradle. Sure enough, a former ally of the pro-family movement who's now gone over to the dark side, Rep. John Rogers, lays out the scenario for scuttling the amendment when the ConCon reconvenes this July 12.

There are other scenarios as well, including the pending SJC ruling on the constitutionality of the measure; and the possible use of our bill H653 defining marriage, illegally turned into an amendment proposal by homosexual activist Sen. Barrios.

Note the whining about how emotionally taxing this marriage issue is for our poor legislators! They just can't be bothered with this question, which has the power to destroy social stability in America! Later in the article, Rogers claims he's "grown" as a legislator, and his powers of judgment have matured. But he admits his emotional capacity for any serious debate has clearly diminished. We ask again: Where are the manly men? Have we no leaders with emotional stamina, principles, courage, or intellect in this state?

From Bay Windows, 5-11-06:

Leader in anti-gay marriage legislation outlines way to kill measure at the ConCon

In one of the most significant shifts in the battle to preserve equal marriage in Massachusetts, House Majority Leader John Rogers (D-Norwood) has come out in opposition to the initiative petition for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. The Legislature is expected to vote on the initiative petition when the constitutional convention (ConCon) convenes July 12. But Rogers said he would not be surprised if the measure is killed through a procedural maneuver.

Marriage equality proponents need 151 votes to defeat the amendment. But Rogers said he does not believe there are 151 lawmakers who would vote it down. He notes, however, that if there is no quorum of legislators when the ConCon convenes, no formal business could be conducted “and therefore the question will not be advanced through a procedural tactic,” he explained. So if 100 or more legislators don’t show up for the ConCon, the measure would die.

When asked if he believed it would be fair to kill the amendment that way, Rogers answered: “It’s within the rules to do it. This is not Texas where the constitution allows a senate president
or presiding officer or even a governor to compel the presence [of lawmakers],” he said in a reference to a group of Texas state legislators who in 2003 prevented a vote on a controversial redistricting plan by fleeing to Oklahoma....

“Legislators won’t be hiding in Oklahoma,” Rogers predicted of the next ConCon. “In fact, they’ll be standing right in front of the State House steps probably singing freedom songs and hugging one another in plain sight, not cowering. If members of the constitutional convention want to do that, then the constitution contemplates that activity and that is perfectly acceptable as constitutional behavior. So that’s more than likely, at this point if I had to guess, that that’s what happens.”

Asked if he sensed an appetite in the Legislature to continue to debate the gay marriage issue at this point, Rogers acknowledged that issue is “emotionally exhausting” to many legislators and that the lengthy deliberations involve “painful divisions within one’s district and in the Commonwealth.” Most members, he concluded, would rather not deal with the issue....