Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Gay Marriage Amendment Delayed Until 11/9

Just in from my agent in the Massachusetts State House. The Constitutional Convention (ConCon) will recess until after the primaries and elections -- November 9th.

Then it will reconvene to consider the other matters, including the two anti-same-sex marriage amendments.

6 p.m. Update: The Boston Globe has filed an item on this. As cited in pre-ConCon coverage, the pro-SSM side likes the delay. The 50-vote minimum margin is very close and they hope to narrow it. No one knows yet whether not having the public view of an election pending would encourage more lawmakers to vote for equality over the anti forces.

The Globe quoted the head of the amendment VoteonMarriage drive, Kris Mineau, as saying, "This move shows the flagrant disregard for the will of the people by Senate President Travaglini and every legislator who voted to recess the convention until November."

Well, that's already the majority of both houses. If the number of legislators willing to associate themselves with the amendment dwindles to 49 or fewer, Mineau will have to find another way to punish homosexuals.

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Anonymous said...

Here's a thought on the 'parlimentary procedures are undemocratic' meme.

So the Constitution allow petitions to go forward with only 50 votes. But the rules allow for the vote to never be taken, through adjournment and lack of a quorum, etc.

(The Gov.'s ability to call the legislature back means nothing if he cannot force a vote.)

So why aren't the procedural tactics seen as part of the process to prevent 50 legislators and the petition signers from forcing their minority view on the rest of the legislature and the state?

I can't say I've seen anything in this debate, nor in the other times that proceedural tactics have been used to keep things off the ballot that would persuade me to conclude that those tactics are anything other than an important part of the process.

If it is part of the rules, and no one has moved to change them, then they are just as legitimate as:

using paid signature gatherers;

gathering signatures for more than one initiative at a time;

the low penalty for signature fraud;

the lack of signature fraud enforcements;

and, the ability of only a quarter of the legislature to send something to the voters;

etc., etc., etc.

massmarrier said...


Of course, from here, that attitude about how losing on the rules is terrible, it goes with the let-the-people-vote scam. We have checks and balances, separated branches of government, and representative legislation because plebiscites can be mob rule, which in the strictest sense is democracy too.

When you're trying to strip civil rights from a minority, why let reason and process get in the way, eh?