Gay marriage amendment to stay off 2008 ballot in Massachusetts, USA

Friday, June 15, 2007

The State House of Massachusetts in downtown Boston

Lawmakers in Massachusetts, located in the United States, have thrown out an amendment that would allow voters to vote for same-sex marriage, or against it in the 2008 general elections.

"Today's vote is not just a victory for marriage equality. It was a victory for equality itself," said Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick who voted against the amendment.

President of the Massachusetts Family Institute Kristian Mineau, called the decision "disappointing."

Fifty votes were needed to pass the amendment. Two hundred lawmakers sit on the state's session and in January voted for the amendment with 62 votes. In the recent session on Thursday, the amendment only received 45 support votes with 141 opposing the amendment, killing the measure until at least 2010. It would then require opponents of gay marriage to start from scratch, writing new petitions to the lawmakers, and then gaining the support of at least 50 of them, in at least two separate sessions.

Same-sex marriages became legal in Massachusetts in 2004 after the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court ruled in 2003 the ban on gay marriage to be "unconstitutional," and since then nearly 9,000 couples have gotten married there.