Thursday, March 22, 2007

Senate Pres. Murray Unlikely to Allow Marriage Amendment Vote

We all know what's coming. Immediately after Senator Therese Murray's elevation to Senate President yesterday, Mass. Family Institute released an email alert. They know their VoteOnMarriage amendment is in serious danger again.

Outgoing Senate Pres. Travaglini apparently just kicked the can down the road when he forced the marriage amendment vote on January 2, contrary to expectations. Delaying tactics. He wasn't really for the citizens' rights. He just wanted to go out with a "clean" record, and string pro-family citizens along for a while. Defuse things a bit.

The VoteOnMarriage people are right to worry. Look at the people Murray hires: A major MassEquality operative is now her executive assistant -- a radical allied with QueerToday. (See our report on MassResistance.) Marc Solomon, head of MassEquality, "said the group was pleased to see a like-minded legislator would be wielding the gavel," according to State House News.

Regular readers of this blog know that we don't like the weak wording of the VoteOnMarriage amendment. But we are in absolute agreement that it must be voted on by the Legislature.

Murray on the marriage amendment (Boston Globe, 3-22-07): Though a strong supporter of same-sex marriage, she declined to say whether she would require an up-or-down vote on a constitutional ban when she presides over the Constitutional Convention this spring or whether she would allow it to be defeated with procedural maneuvers. "I haven't even discussed that with myself," she told reporters.

State Senator Brian Joyce (quoted in Bay Windows, 3-22-07): As state Sen. Brian A. Joyce points out, Murray’s position as Senate president means that the three most powerful figures on Beacon Hill — Murray, House Speaker Sal DiMasi and Gov. Deval Patrick — “are all foursquare against discrimination.” Under those circumstances, added the Milton Democrat, “I’m hard-pressed to see a scenario whereby this matter advances.” The leadership changes in both the Senate and the corner office, along with the increased acceptance of marriage equality as time has passed, leave Joyce “cautiously optimistic” that the amendment will soon be “dying a peaceful death.”

Mass. Family Institute email alert (3-20-07): Now [Murray] decides if the legislature will have a fair vote on the marriage amendment at the Constitutional Convention this May 9. The state high court said the constitution requires a vote on the marriage amendment. But as an avowed supporter of same sex marriage, will politics get in Therese Murray's way?

Take Action NOW! Call Senate President Therese Murray at (617) 722-1330. Tell her that as Senate President, she now represents ALL the people. Tell her she is free to vote "no" on the marriage amendment. But she is constitutionally obligated to hold a vote on this important, citizen-initiated amendment.