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
Mass. Upholds Gay Marriage
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, June 14, 2007. Steele, an opponent of gay marriage, slapped gay rights supporter Jack Kirschenbaun,...   (Associated Press)

(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. (Read more gay marriage stories.)

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