CommunityPam's House Blend

MA: amendment defeated in landslide

Crowds erupted into cheers at the defeat. Marriage equality forces needed 101 votes to defeat the amendment, but they garnered a 56-vote margin of victory. (

A joint session of the House and Senate on Wednesday rejected a proposed amendment that would ban same-sex marriage while allowing civil unions, but another anti-gay amendment looms on the horizon.

Today’s vote was the second of a two part process to get the proposal onto the ballot in 2006. With less than two hours of debate lawmakers voted 157-39 against the measure.

Last March when it passed the first phase, it did so by only a handful of votes and after heated debate. Many Democrats opposed the measure and many Republicans who object to gay marriage voted against it because it would permit civil unions.

But as more and more same-sex couples married in Massachusetts support for the measure dwindled.

“Gay marriage has begun, and life has not changed for the citizens of the commonwealth, with the exception of those who can now marry,” said state Sen. Brian Lees, an East Longmeadow Republican who had been a co-sponsor of the amendment. “This amendment which was an appropriate measure or compromise a year ago, is no longer, I feel, a compromise today.”

BayWindows has minute-by-minute description of events as they unfolded.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding