The same court that made Massachusetts the first state to legalize gay marriage ruled Monday that a proposed constitutional amendment to ban future same-sex marriages can be placed on the ballot, if approved by the Legislature.Because two consecutive legislative sessions must approve the measure, it won't go on the ballot until 2008. Meanwhile, same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts, and if the amendment is passed, it won't undo the existing marriages. That will be an odd state of affairs. Don't you think that anomaly will make some citizens want to vote against the amendment?
The ruling was in a lawsuit brought by gay-rights supporters who argued that Attorney General Tom Reilly was wrong to approve the ballot measure because the state constitution bars any citizen-initiated amendment that seeks to reverse a judicial ruling.
In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Judicial Court said the constitution does not bar citizen initiatives from making prospective changes to the constitution, even if that effectively overrules the effect of a prior court decision.
July 10, 2006