Sunday, August 28, 2005

Strike One, Strike Two

While we were Downeast, both anti-same-sex-marriage ballot questions were foundering. Among our stacks of Boston Globe, we found two predictions of trouble right here in Charles River city.

Thursday carried the tale of the likely rejection of the 2008 DoMA-style question. Attorney General Tom Reilly must certify this question by September 7th. Numerous legal and legislative experts and opinion makers are pointing out to him that it violates the commonwealth's constitution. It is very similar to the 2006 question, forbidden because they are within three years of each other.

Because it would change the constitution, the 2006 version faces a higher bar to qualify for the ballot. It has to pass with a majority of legislators in two consecutive sessions (years) in an identical form. The DoMA one only needs a quarter of the legislators in two sessions.

For the DoMA one, Reilly has an easy out. Nearly 80 lawyers from Boston's top firms joined former attorneys general James Shannon and Scott Harshbarger in citing how it fails the constitution test. The letter includes, "We know that the stakes are high and emotions on both sides run deep. We feel confident, however, that in this instance the plain language of the Massachusetts Constitution makes the decision a straight-forward one."

For the 2006 one, it had the best shot, but will not pass the legislature in September, according to House Speaker Sal DiMasi. (He supports same-sex marriage. )

"Everyone anticipates that there won't be enough votes to pass this," he told the Globe. "That seems pretty clear."

There shall surely be plenty of huffing and puffing by the anti wolves. They are unlikely to blow down anything this time.

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