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.