Deval Patrick | Gay Marriage | Massachusetts | News

UPDATE: Massachusetts Gay Marriage Ban Defeated

UPDATE: By a vote of 151-45, the proposed amendment banning gay marriage has been defeated in the Massachusetts Legislature!


Here's the scene outside the Massachusetts statehouse as activists on both sides of the gay marriage debate await a vote by the constitutional convention scheduled to convene at 1 pm.

MassstatehouseMassachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and others have been furiously lobbying lawmakers in an effort to get them to vote against allowing a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage on the 2008 ballot.

The Associated Press says that the "push seemed to be gaining ground" with some lawmakers reconsidering their previous votes in favor of the amendment. The measure must receive 50 votes in two consecutive sessions to be approved and already won approval in January on the last session's final day.

Said Patrick: "We're working right down to the wire."

Supporters of the ban were working fervently as well. Said Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute: "When we hear rumors of possible changes of votes we contact that lawmaker immediately. Every indication we have so far is that our votes are holding firm. These are people of principle who believe in the people's right to define marriage."

Gay marriage has been legal in Massachusetts since 2004.

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  1. "...people's right to define marriage." priceless.

    Posted by: Jim | Jun 14, 2007 12:37:17 PM

  2. "the people's right to define marriage"? Since when are gays and lesbians not "people"?

    The tyranny of the majority. This is why civil liberties should never, EVER, be up for popular vote.

    Posted by: Brian | Jun 14, 2007 12:50:21 PM

  3. Gay marriages stays in Massachusetts.
    151 to 45. Let the celebrations begin!!

    Posted by: Robert in MA | Jun 14, 2007 1:24:27 PM

  4. Woohoo!! Bring out the champagne!!

    Posted by: Gabriel | Jun 14, 2007 1:29:46 PM

  5. It's times like this that we can see that the average American is far smarter than the wing-nut Right gives them credit for!

    Posted by: Keith | Jun 14, 2007 1:30:20 PM

  6. can deval patrick run for president, please?

    Posted by: sean | Jun 14, 2007 1:33:11 PM

  7. Yaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy Massachusetts!!!!!!!!

    And Deval Patrick for President!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: peterparker | Jun 14, 2007 1:33:18 PM

  8. it's nice when you can be proud of your state! i can harldy contain my excitement!

    Posted by: JB | Jun 14, 2007 1:33:18 PM

  9. Whew!

    Posted by: anon ( | Jun 14, 2007 1:33:45 PM

  10. A victory for equality over hate and a great day for America.

    Posted by: sam | Jun 14, 2007 1:37:44 PM

  11. Having just walked by the statehouse and spoken a friend protesting at the pro-marriage demonstration, I was prepared for the worst. I am thrilled to discover the vote was decisively for the pro marriage side. Here in MA, this is a non-issue for the great majority of the people; only a few right wingers, many from out of town are keeping this fight going. I hope they will now just go work for the Huckabee or Brownback campaigns and leave us alone. I was also struck by the elderly appearance of the anti marriage protesters; I would say the average age is 60+, while the pro marriage side was young and vibrant. Gay marriage is the present here and the future in the rest of the US.

    Posted by: JK | Jun 14, 2007 1:42:13 PM

  12. This is not a surprise, especially to those in the People's Republic of Cambridge!

    Posted by: Stephen | Jun 14, 2007 1:43:06 PM

  13. HALLELUJAH!!!!!

    THANK YOU Deval Patrick, Freedom to Marry, all the people who worked so hard in MA and across the country, the 151 lawmakers and the people of Massachusetts!!!!

    The times they are a changin; there's something blowin in the wind!

    Posted by: Zeke | Jun 14, 2007 1:44:31 PM

  14. STEPHEN, I hope you're not too disappointed.

    Posted by: Zeke | Jun 14, 2007 1:46:29 PM

  15. Governor Patrick should be commended for personally lobbying lawmakers before this vote. This couldn't have happened without him.

    And shame on you for forcing this showdown and keeping the status of gay couples in limbo for the last 4 years, Mitt Romney.

    Posted by: John | Jun 14, 2007 1:51:16 PM

  16. YAYAY!!!

    Posted by: Jeffrey | Jun 14, 2007 1:52:02 PM

  17. That is twisted. 151 to 45 and it would have only taken 50 votes to put it on the ballot? Clearly the majority supports the the current law. How can the papers call this a narrow victory?

    Posted by: jk | Jun 14, 2007 2:10:15 PM

  18. 151 to 45 -- phenomenal!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jun 14, 2007 2:19:49 PM

  19. JK-

    That's the 'liberal media' for you.

    Posted by: Gary | Jun 14, 2007 2:22:00 PM

  20. It's a "narrow" victory because the margin was 5 votes. It's not a majority vote -- it's 25% of the Legislature (50) are all that's needed to advance an initiative petition to the ballot. It's also narrow because we lost last time by about the same amount -- 56 votes to 140-something. The fact that we got 151 "no" votes is also very important -- if we'd gotten under that, the opponents would say they'd won and the victory was stolen from them because of empty seats or no-shows. They'll whine anyway, but it will seem even more groundless with 151 opposed to the amendment.

    Posted by: tjc | Jun 14, 2007 3:54:25 PM

  21. This is great, what will now the christian biggots say: "Activist legislators!?"

    So now that we have won, let's try to get gays to be actually interested in forming committed relationships rather than cruising for a quickie on manhunt. I somehow don't see too many people here in New York who can even bring themselves to utter the R-word.

    Posted by: ReasonBased | Jun 14, 2007 4:09:38 PM

  22. Hurray!

    Posted by: Jack! | Jun 14, 2007 4:26:00 PM

  23. Jeez, color me incredibly relieved. Ready-to-cry relieved.

    For two years now, I've been secretly scared shitless that they'd take it away from us again.

    Posted by: adamblast | Jun 14, 2007 6:31:40 PM

  24. Does that mean the fight's over? Or do the anti-marriage forces have another shot at it?

    Posted by: Chris | Jun 14, 2007 7:11:33 PM

  25. Chris, apparantly the soonest they could try would be 2012. And as for reasonbased, there have been 8,500 gay couples in Mass who have already married. That's a pretty impressive number of committed couples, step out of the gay ghetto and realize we are a very diverse bunch of people, some sex crazed of course, others crazed about starting families.

    Posted by: Jersey | Jun 14, 2007 9:53:17 PM

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