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Massachusetts homobigots file fed lawsuit seeking $5 million over amendment measure

“We would like to put an end to the Massachusetts Legislature thumbing its nose at citizen initiatives. This lawsuit is about holding those legislators responsible for their illegal conduct.”
— Glen Lavy, a lawyer representing VoteOnMarriage.org, which claims the state legislature’s vote to adjourn rather than vote on an anti-marriage equality amendment violates their right to free speech

For the folks who insist that placing the civil rights of gays and lesbians up for a vote at the ballot box is fine and dandy, this is another attempt to keep hope alive and punish Massachusetts lawmakers. (Boston Herald):

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court by the group VoteOnMarriage.org, argues the 109 lawmakers violated the supporters’ rights to free speech, to petition the government and due process under the law.

  The group is asking the court to interpret the vote to recess a joint meeting of the House and Senate as a vote in favor of the amendment even though many lawmakers said the vote was designed to kill the amendment.

  The legislature is scheduled to take up the question again Jan. 2, the last day of the session. Supporters of the question fear lawmakers will again avoid taking a vote, killing the proposed amendment. 

Can you spell S-P-I-T-E?

Glen Lavy, a lawyer representing the group, says the lawsuit is needed to force lawmakers to follow the constitution. It seeks $500,000 from the lawmakers for the cost of the group’s legal battles and another $5 million in punitive damages. The damages would be split 109 ways and lawmakers would be held personally liable, he said.

…Gary Buseck, legal director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, calls the lawsuit “laughable” and said it was at the “outer limits of plausibility.”

Meanwhile, Mitt is still being dogged about his flip-flop positions on gay rights issues. At this point, since his handlers cannot find a way to reconcile his 1994 pro-gay posturing when he was battling Ted Kennedy in that Senate race with his newfound fundie ass-kissing anti-gay persona.  At this point, he’s simply avoiding questions on the matter. Look at this feeble dancing…

The governor’s office issued a brief statement last weekend amid reports of a 1994 letter in which Romney, then a U.S. Senate candidate, pledged to be a more effective champion for gay causes than his opponent, liberal Democrat Edward M. Kennedy. Last week’s statement said the governor has been a “champion of traditional marriage.”

At a gathering of San Diego County, Calif., Republicans on Monday night, Romney brushed aside a question from the Associated Press. “Thanks, I have other people to talk to right now,” he said.

Now, that’s going to be fun, Mitt. Try dodging direct questions about this on the debate trail. His prospective fundie supporters are having none of it.

Richard Land, a top member of the Southern Baptist Convention, was among a group of evangelicals who met with Romney at his home in October. Land said Tuesday, “Christians believe in conversion, and so they’re open to listen, but when a candidate 12 years ago says he is more of a champion on these issues than Ted Kennedy, that needs to be explained.”

Tom Minnery, spokesman for Focus on the Family, the Colorado-based evangelical organization, said homosexuality is an emotional issue. “You’ve got to be committed to your position for it or against it, or you’ll be swayed, so he’s got a lot of explaining to do,” Minnery said of the governor.

What’s bizarre is this nonsense statement by his mouthpiece. I guess this is what passes as damage control.

An adviser to Romney’s political action committee, Barbara Comstock, issued a statement Tuesday night saying the governor defends traditional marriage and opposes “unjust discrimination against anyone” but does not see a need for new or special legislation.

So what is that? No civil unions? No ENDA? No hate crimes legislation? How does Romney define “unjust” at any basic level?

In my earlier post, 2008 candidates and their stances on DADT, I said “Who knows what Mitt Romney believes? It depends on which way the wind is blowing.”

Well, in this article, Mitt makes it clear, saying that he agrees with maintaining Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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