Mass. Upholds Gay Marriage

Lawmakers reject call to give voters final say; issue won't face ballot box in '08
By Ben Worthen,  Newser User
Posted Jun 15, 2007 7:27 AM CDT
Diane Steele, 52, of Richmond, Mass., is arrested by Boston Police after Massachusetts lawmakers voted to kill a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage at the Statehouse in Boston, Thursday,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Gay couples in Massachussetts scored a major victory yesterday, after state legislators threw out a proposed constitutional amendment that would have put gay marriage to a popular vote. The proposed ban was defeated 151-45, only 5 votes short of the 50 necessary to place the issue on a statewide ballot in 2008.

Opponents have challenged Massachusetts' first-in-the-nation gay marriage law since the initial 2004 court decision. Even today's vote—in a Democratic state with a Democratic legislature—was far from assured. "I can tell you right now that we did not know at 5 minutes to 1, when I went into the chamber, what the vote would be," said Senate prez Therese Murray.