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Romney raises the stakes in gay marriage fight

Well, Massachusetts' outgoing governor (and likely presidential candidate) Mitt Romney is upping the ante in his fight to get gay marriage on a state-wide ballot. Under the state Constitution, if enough people sign a petition, it has to go to the state legislature (meeting jointly as a Constitutional Convention) for an up-or-down vote. And it only needs 50 of 200 lawmakers to pass -- opponents need to muster a 3/4 vote to kill the amendment.

Unless, of course, they find a legal loophole. One such as postponing and postponing the vote right up until their terms expire, and then -- oops! -- it's too late. Better luck next time...

And that's just what the legislature has done. They didn't have 150 votes to kill it outright, but they did have 109 to "postpone" the vote a couple of times -- first until after the election, then until the last day of their term.

Well, Romney (a staunch opponent of gay marriage) is going for broke. (Yes, I know I am using a lot of gambling metaphors here. I find it amusing to do so when describing the actions of a devout Mormon like Romney.) He's decided to file suit with the Supreme Judicial Court ordering the measure put on the ballot. His argument is simple: the obvious intent of the framers of the state Constitution was to make it very difficult for the legislature to kill the petition process, and set the bar very high: no simple majority would suffice, but a supermajority -- three-quarters of the entire legislature would have to go on record as opposing it. By exploiting the "adjournment" loophole, the current batch of lawmakers have found a way to kill a petition with far less votes -- and if they violate their Constitutional oath in the process, oh well.

I don't give Romney much chance for success. For one, it is still theoretically possible for the lawmakers to hold the vote -- they simply stay in session right up until midnight on January 2, and their terms expire and the session ends. The "window" for the actual opportunity is exceedingly narrow -- or nonexistent.

For another, the Court he is appealing to is the same one that authorized gay marriage in the first place after the legislature once again took the coward's way out and refused to act.

I've said it repeatedly: I support gay marriage. I think that it does no harm to existing marriages, and might even strengthen the institution as a whole by opening it up to more people. But I don't support it at the expense of doing great violence to the fundamental precepts of democracy. The whole history of gay marriage in Massachusetts has been a long string of a minority imposing its will on the state as a whole, then pulling every single trick and stunt it can conceive of to prevent the people from actually having a say in how their state is run. It's disgraceful and disgusting and utterly intolerable.

Unless, of course, you live in Massachusetts. In that case, you'll just keep re-electing the same legislators who keep spitting in your face.


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Comments (12)

Kudos to Romney. We need mo... (Below threshold)
PhoenixPat:

Kudos to Romney. We need more political leaders who will fight to defend the Constitution (state and United States) and who will fight to defend the will of the people.

I fail to understand how the people of Massachusetts can be conservative enough to want to petition against gay marriage, yet be liberal enough to continue to re-elect the appalling Ted Kennedy and even-more-appalling John Kerry.

What's he gonna campaign on... (Below threshold)
semanticleo:

What's he gonna campaign on, Iraq?

It's just more misdirection using smoke and mirrors.

I say campaign on dislodging the ticks and lampreys who populate the political machinery. No, I don't mean the Sunni and Shia war of attrition against political opponents wherein blowing body parts to hell becomes the national sport. Don't execute any of 'em. Just take away what they have demonstrated they lost the most, money and power.

strike 'lost the most' inse... (Below threshold)
semanticleo:

strike 'lost the most' insert 'love the most'

If the Massachusetts legisl... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

If the Massachusetts legislature had any balls they would impeach the Massachusetts supreme court judges who voted to force the legislature to pass laws allowing gay marriage. It's not within the courts jurisdiction to pass laws, and thus, neither is it within their jurisdiction to order the legislature to pass specific laws. That violation of the separation of powers should be sufficient grounds to remove those judges. It makes no sense to have courts that not only interpret laws, but also order legislatures to pass whatever laws to they want. Massachusetts needs to take a stand before their supreme court declares the Massachusetts constitution unconstitutional and sets themselves up as kings.

Sorry Jay, gotta oppose you... (Below threshold)
Phil:

Sorry Jay, gotta oppose you here. Gay marriage opens up too many cans of worms for my taste. Marriage was originally intended to be between man and woman to give their children a name. Like it or not, this is so. This has been so for centuries and has throughout human history handed down through the ages been accepted as such. It is only in our time this has been challenged by people taking advantage of weak leadership in our political processes to do away centuries of thought and natural order.

Guys living with guys, gals living with gals under the pretense of love which does not create children the way nature intended, makes the idea of a marriage for the purpose of giving a child a name a sham. Yes you can have children through artificial means, but we all know it's not the same. Biologically it's not possible for both of the same sex to pass their genes when you have to depend on donated parts (egg or sperm) or even a womb.

Yes a child can be created from all this, but in reality it is a child of 3 people. That just goes against everything. That poor kid suffers for it too when they find out the truth. Can you imagine being sat down someday when you are a teenager and supposenly old enough to understand and being told this. "One of us is part of you, but the other part of you is someone else. Who it is we don't know, but you are not part of both of us. That's kid's mind would explode trying to comprehend that.

You cannot be husband and wife and be the same. It's like they are playing out a fairytale, (no pun intended) They are kidding themselves if they think they will ever reach full acceptance in our society. They are losing the battle as evidenced by more and more states filing amendments defining marriage.

It also makes no sense to me to allow marriage in one place and as soon as you cross the border you are just considered no more than another couple who is gay. I don't care how many rings you wear or how married you act, or how hard you wave the piece of paper that says you are hitched. So why even go there? It just goes against centuries of human thought and against nature.

If a person is gay and chooses to live with someone of the same that's fine, I certainly can't and won't stop you. I know there are plenty of good and competent gay people in our society and they make a good contribution to the world. I even know a few. But don't try to be what you can't.

JM2cents.

"I fail to understand how t... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

"I fail to understand how the people of Massachusetts can be conservative enough to want to petition against gay marriage, yet be liberal enough to continue to re-elect the appalling Ted Kennedy and even-more-appalling John Kerry."

To answer in one word,(FICKLE)... people of mASS put personal benefit ahead of principle.
The citizen rants and raves over any issue (gay marriage), but when the hack piece of garbage elected official gives that citizens company a construction contract, they RE-elect the hack with open arms.

This along with a nice big dose of academia, lots of colleges, lots of unions, a and heaping helping of loony left, gives you that wonderful mess called mASSachusetts.
MA. State government is 87% Democrat......anyone surprised?! Lifetime...jobs... pathetic...
Gotta love our mascots Teddy K, and John K.

About the issue of GAY Marriage, lets not be fooled. I understand Jay's libertarian stance, and respect the government not telling people how to live their lives.
This issue is about changing the social "NORMS" of society. If it was about fairness, then (civil unions) would address any situations of benefits etc.
Gay MARRIAGE is about grabbing the TITLE of marriage to wave at society that homosexuals 3%-5%can demand equal PROMOTION as the 97% heterosexual population. The key is to promote/ indoctrinate, such as reading school children books about the two daddy's. That gives the gay community more political, economic, social clout to move their agenda.
The gay community use to be persecuted, but instead of wanting acceptance, they want to call the shots.

"If the Massachusetts legis... (Below threshold)

"If the Massachusetts legislature had any balls they would impeach the Massachusetts supreme court judges who voted to force the legislature to pass laws allowing gay marriage. It's not within the courts jurisdiction to pass laws, and thus, neither is it within their jurisdiction to order the legislature to pass specific laws. That violation of the separation of powers should be sufficient grounds to remove those judges. It makes no sense to have courts that not only interpret laws, but also order legislatures to pass whatever laws to they want."

Mac, I'm generally with you dude, but wtf ar you talking about? As much as I disagreed with the decision, it didn't "force the legislature" to do anything.

Unfortunately, we are saddled with a state Constitution here that is more loosey-goosey than many. It goes without saying that (being one of the oldest such documents) the authors would be nauseous to see what the current Court has done with their language -- and that may be reason enough for many to feel that removal provisions for SJC members should be considered.

Personally, looking back at how this was allowed to happen, I have to fault Bill Weld for appointing Margaret Marshall to the SJC in the first place (and Cellucci for appointing her to the CJ position). She and the other majority Justices (ironically, all graduates of Harvard Law School) first got to the lower bench courtesy of Mike Dukakis, but were elevated to the SJC by REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS.

No wonder we got drubbed.

As much as I disagree with the decision, however, I just don't believe that we can run to impeach judges when they make a decision we don't like -- principally because most of the time they make a decision we don't like, it's AT LEAST as much because the language they're interpreting is stupid or fuzzy or ambiguous or any one of the adjectives that give lawyers the license to do what they (we) do.

Why are libs afraid to put ... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

Why are libs afraid to put it to a vote? I always thought the left fought for the voice of the people.

"Why are libs afraid to put... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

"Why are libs afraid to put it to a vote? I always thought the left fought for the voice of the people."

Because THEY would LOSE!! that's why they don't want a vote.
The only "voices" libs will fight for are the voices in their heads........

Really Jay Tea, you support... (Below threshold)
Pete_bondurant:

Really Jay Tea, you support gay marriage? Well, when you support gay marriage, you get everything else that comes with it. You cannot seperate the two. Radical gay activists are not merely interested in marrying one another. They are interested in imposing their lifestyle on to the rest of us. This is what we have to deal with in Canada:


http://www.canadianchristianity.com/cgi-bin/na.cgi?nationalupdates/060928protests

I've said it repeatedly:... (Below threshold)

I've said it repeatedly: I support gay marriage. I think that it does no harm to existing marriages, and might even strengthen the institution as a whole by opening it up to more people. But I don't support it at the expense of doing great violence to the fundamental precepts of democracy.

Question for Jay Tea: Should interracial marriage be subject to majority vote? How about interfaith marriages?

Seems to me the courts are there to determine what is a fundamental right under the constitution (which is NOT subject to "majority vote"), and what's not a fundamental right. You may disagree about whether gay marriage falls into that category, but to claim you "support" gay marriage while holding it hostage to the prejudices of "the mob" is just analytically incoherent.

Knightsbridge,Why ... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Knightsbridge,

Why shouldn't the 3-5% be treated as equals to the 95-97% ?




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