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.
Massachusetts 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.