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SJC: anti-gay amendment moves forward for now

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts has ruled that the anti-same sex marriage amendment can go on the ballot if it is approved by the legislator.

Now is the time to contact your legislators! The legislator is scheduled to vote on Wednesday. The anti-same sex marriage amendment is #20 on the agenda. Legislators could maneuver in such a way to avoid a vote by timing out, not providing a quorum, and other strategies. As of now the vote looks like it is going to be extremely close with us on the losing side, so please take the time to contact your legislators.

The Decision:

"Conclusion. There was no error in the Attorney General's certification of the petition. We remand the case to the county court for entry of a judgment declaring that the Attorney General's certification of the petition is in compliance with the requirements of art. "

I found the following quotes interesting. I'm not sure, but are they trying to say GLAD could have argued this better and won?

"There is no Massachusetts precedent discussing, or deciding, whether the initiative procedure may be used to add a constitutional provision that purposefully discriminates against an oppressed and disfavored minority of our citizens in direct contravention of the principles of liberty and equality protected by art. 1 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights. This basis for noncertification was not argued to the Attorney General when he considered validity of the initiative, nor has it been raised by any of the parties in their briefs."

"The parties have argued this case solely on the meaning of the word "reverse" in the context of the debates that took place during the adoption of the initiative process for constitutional amendments. Although the matter is not free from some doubt, I agree that the word "reverse" has a meaning that differs from the word "overrule.."

MassMarrier thinks this hints at future legal action.

More hints of future action:
"We may then give careful consideration, in view of what has been said above, to the legal tenability and implications of embodying a provision into our Constitution that would look so starkly out of place in the Adams Constitution, when compared with the document's elegantly stated, and constitutionally defined, protections of liberty, equality, tolerance, and the access of all citizens to equal rights and benefits."

"If the initiative is approved by the Legislature and ultimately adopted, there will be time enough, if an appropriate lawsuit is brought, for this court to resolve the question whether our Constitution can be home to provisions that are apparently mutually inconsistent and irreconcilable,"


A Friend said...

Because of Massachusetts law, GLAD could not have brought up the after effects of the this anti-gay amendment. Essentially, GLAD cannot argue or bring up these fact until the amendment, if it does past the legislature, is adopted.

Yes, this will be in the courts for a long time and the legislature should just stop it now. Of course, if it does go to the voters in 2008, most of the VoteonMArriage people will probably be dead since they are pushing 70 and 80 anyway.

Mark D. Snyder said...

Thanks for the clarification! : )