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Massachusetts gay marriage ban amendment initiative certified

Can this be stopped? What are the chances that the votes can be obtained in two successive sessions so that it ends up on the ballot in 2008?

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin on Tuesday sent to the legislature a proposed amendment that would ban same-sex marriage and block the state from allowing civil unions.

It also would void more than 6,000 gay marriages already performed in the Commonwealth.

Galvin announced that he officially certified the proposal. He said that it met the requirements – 65,825 signatures, with no more than 16,456 from any one county. Local election clerks had already ascertained names on the measure were those of registered voters.

The legislature has already rejected its own proposed amendment, one that would have banned gay marriage but allowed civil unions. But this time the proposed amendment is a citizens initiative and requires a much lower threshold to gain approval, needing only the support of 50 members in each of the two sessions.

The signatures submitted to Galvin were collected by Vote On Marriage – an umbrella group made up of the Catholic Church and evangelical groups.

According to the article, recent polls show voters would reject the amendment if it made it to the ballot. Make no mistake, though — the wingers are going to throw a lot of money behind this amendment effort.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding