VoteOnMarriage.org -- the campaign to allow voters to decide on the definition of marriage in Massachusetts -- collected a record-breaking 170,000 signatures, the greatest number ever in Massachusetts history. This remarkable and historic response clearly shouted, "Let the People Vote!" Our volunteer grassroots army includes more than 1,200 diverse houses of worship and thousands of volunteers in virtually every city and town in the Commonwealth.
Having collected nearly three times the required signatures needed for certification by the Secretary of State, the Protection of Marriage Amendment moved to a vote by the Massachusetts Legislature. A joint session of both the House and Senate met on January 2, 2007 and voted 62-134 (Click Here for Roll Call) to pass the Amendment, moving the process forward.
This victory surprised many due to the active campaign by Speaker of the House Salvatore DiMasi, working with anti-Amendment legislators, to prevent the Amendment from ever coming to a vote. Speaker DiMasi was quoted by State House News Service in 2005 urging lawmakers to make sure gay marriage "never, ever appears as a question on the ballot." Additionally, at the Constitutional Convention held on Nov. 9, 109 legislators voted to recess the ConCon without voting on the Amendment. This action, coupled with quotes in local newspapers by legislators who voted to recess kill the amendment, led many to believe that the Amendment would never receive the up-or-down voted mandated by the state constitution. Thankfully, Senate President Robert Travaglini kept his promise and held a vote.
If approved by 50 legislators in a Constitutional Convention this year or next, the Marriage Amendment will appear on the November 2008 ballot for a statewide vote. The next Constitutional Convention will now happen on Thursday, June 14th. The Legislature could vote on the Amendment at this ConCon or vote to recess until a later date.
Securing the right for the citizens to decide on marriage will
continue to be an uphill struggle because Speaker DiMasi and newly elected
Senate President Therese Murray are both beholden to the powerful gay
lobby. Senate President Murray, who was elected senate president after
Robert Travaglini resigned that post and his Senate seat, has said that
she will call for a vote on the Marriage Amendment, but will actively
work to change enough votes to defeat the Amendment. VoteOnMarriage.org
believes in the people's right to vote on marriage and holding lawmakers
accountable to the people, not special interest groups.
The citizens of Massachusetts deserve the same right that citizens in
28 other states have already secured - the right to vote on the definition
of marriage. The fundamental question is this, "Who should decide
on the definition of marriage in Massachusetts
the courts or the
people?" VoteOnMarriage.org believes, "We the People" should
decide, and we're fighting to save democracy in Massachusetts and secure
the right to vote. There are many ways to get involved; read on, learn
more, and please join us!
Dr. Roberto S. Miranda, Chairman
The Protection of Marriage Amendment: What it Does and Does Not Do
The Massachusetts Protection of Marriage Amendment allows the people
of Massachusetts to vote on the definition of marriage in the Commonwealth.
Unlike the Travaglini-Lees Amendment approved two year's ago, but defeated
at a Constitutional Convention last year, this amendment does not create
same-sex Civil Unions. The Protection of Marriage Amendment also does
not ban Civil Unions, instead allowing the debate over Civil Unions to
take place in the Legislature.
The Protection of Marriage Amendment does not attempt to revoke the marriage
licenses granted since May 17, 2004. The amendment also does not recognize
or endorse the existing marriages.
While the Protection of Marriage Amendment simply pertains to the definition
of marriage, VoteOnMarriage.org supports the passage of the Benefits Fairness
Act (H5005). This bill provides certain enumerated benefits for any two
adults who are in a dependent relationship and are ineligible for marriage
such as two elderly siblings living together. This legislation meets the
genuine needs of citizens regardless of sexual preference.
©2005-2007 VoteOnMarriage.org. All Rights Reserved. Paid for by VoteOnMarriage.org. Robert H. Bradley, Treasurer.