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Same-sex marriage (SSM) in Massachusetts

Activity during 2007-JAN

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Events during 2007:

  • 2007-JAN-02: ConCon: The lawmakers met again forming a Constitutional Convention with a joint session of the Legislature. Over two-thirds of the legislature voted for marriage equality (62 for the amendment and 134 against.) But a 75% vote is required to stop the process. The amendment thus advanced to receive its final review during the next legislative session. If it passed this stage, it would have been placed on the 2008 ballot. 1
  • 2007-JUN-14: ConCon: By an overwhelming vote of 151 to 45, lawmakers in a joint session of the  Massachusetts legislature defeated the proposed constitutional amendment to deny same-sex couples the right to marry. Only 50 votes (25% of the legislators) had been needed to place it on the 2008 ballot. Supporters of restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples believed that they had 57 votes against marriage equality. House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, Senate President Therese Murray, and Governor Deval Patrick -- along with gay rights activists -- intensely lobbied about a dozen representatives and senators who had previously supported the amendment but who indicated that they were open to changing their positions.

    The next ballot opportunity for religious and social conservatives to defeat marriage equality in the state will not appear until 2012.

    Responses were mixed, as expected:

    • Mona Passignano, state issues analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said: "For all the believers out there who are utterly devastated by what transpired today in the Massachusetts Legislature, I want you to think about the old sermon: 'It's Friday, But Sunday's Comin','  When everything seems lost, and your opponents are strutting around rejoicing, remember: it's only Friday, Sunday is coming." 2

    • MassEquality had mounted a media campaign with the slogan "It's wrong to vote on rights." On their home page, they stated:
      "We won! ... Thanks to you, the Massachusetts Legislature has beaten back the discriminatory, anti-gay, anti-marriage Constitutional amendment. The final 151 to 45 vote happened because of the leadership of Governor Deval Patrick, Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray, Senate President Terry Murray and House Speaker Sal DiMasi, who worked tirelessly to defeat this amendment. Thanks to them, our strong group of legislative allies and the courageous new allies who realized that no one's civil rights should be placed on a public ballot, all Massachusetts families are stronger and safer today." 3
    • Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, issued a statement saying:
      "The Marriage Amendment won its first legislative vote and was on track to win its second with a healthy margin. The unprecedented pressure by leaders on Beacon Hill derailed the largest initiative petition drive by citizens in the Commonwealth's history. ... God is still in control. Though the fig tree does not blossom, though there be no fruit on the vine, we're going to press on. ... We will look very closely at the circumstances by which legislators switched their vote for ethics violations or improprieties. 2
    • Gay and Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) issued a press release stating:
      "We're proud of our state today, and we applaud the legislature for showing that Massachusetts is strongly behind fairness. Equality for gay and lesbian citizens has enriched our state, made our communities stronger, and our families happier. The vote today was the triumph of time, experience, and understanding over fear and prejudice. We are deeply grateful to all the legislators who have been with us every step of the way, as well as to those who found their way to a vote for fairness. We thank Governor Deval Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray, and House Speaker Sal DiMasi, for their courageous leadership. We salute every citizen, gay and straight, who fought for this victory, led by our talented, hard-working friends at MassEquality." 4
    • Former Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican candidate president, said that the action by the Legislature is:
      "... a regrettable setback. ... Marriage is an institution that goes to the heart of our society, and our leaders can no longer abdicate their responsibility."
      He emphasized the need for a national constitutional amendment restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples. 2


The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Legislature votes on marriage; Victory!," Massachusetts Family Institute, 2007-JAN/FEB.
  2. Jennifer Mesko, "Massachusetts Lawmakers Silence Voters on Marriage," Focus on the Family Action, 2007-JUN-14, at:
  3. "Thank you Massachusetts!," Mass Equality, 2007-JUN-14, at:
  4. "GLAD Cheers Defeat of Anti-Gay, Anti-Marriage Equality Measure," Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), 2007-JUN-14, at: This is a PDF file. You may require software to read it. Software can be obtained free from: 

Site navigation: Home > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage > Massachusetts > here

Copyright 2004 to 2008 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2004-MAY
Latest update: 2008-OCT-03
Author: B.A. Robinson

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