A while ago, Massachusetts citizens proposed a state Constitutional amendment saying that a marriage was only between a man and a woman. The next step was that the Mass legislature had to vote on it - a vote was required by the Mass constitution, in fact. But the legislators ducked it and didn't vote. Then a group sued them for failing to follow the constitution. The legislature then voted for it, and passed it. Next, the next-year legislature has to vote on it, and then it will be placed on the ballot for 2008 for approval by the people. ------------------------ http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53615 QUEERLY BELOVED Massachusetts marriage amendment advances Hurdle to 1-man-1-woman constitutional definition overcome Posted: January 2, 2007 7:00 p.m. Eastern State lawmakers in Massachusetts, facing the possibility of personal liability for refusing to follow the state Constitution, have blinked, and voted to allow a voter-supported initiative that would define marriage in the state as between one man and one woman only to move forward. It's just another step in the long process defined by the state Constitution to amend that document, but it is significant because of the imposition of "gay" marriages in that state the first state to take such action after the state Supreme Judicial Court determined they must be allowed. Brian Camenker, a spokesman for the pro-family MassResistance.com organization, was at the statehouse when lawmakers voted to move the initiative forward to the next legislature, which begins later this week. There, it also will need to get the support of at least 50 lawmakers, and then the issue could be put on the 2008 election ballot. A pro-family activist law firm, The Alliance Defense Fund, earlier had filed a lawsuit against 109 of the lawmakers because they had voted to recess the legislature until today, the last day of the session, without taking a vote on the proposed initiative. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court had ruled that the state Constitution required lawmakers to vote up-or-down on such proposals, but it could not force the lawmakers to do that. Camenker said the vote came quickly, with the measure earning the support of 61 lawmakers. But then a vote to reconsider the plan was approved, effectively nullifying the first vote. Then after the House Clerk's office verified for Camenker that such a motion to reconsider could only be made once, the House called another vote, with 62 lawmakers this time supporting the advance of the initiative. "The gays certainly acted as if they lost," Camenker told WND. "This took everybody by surprise. I don't think there was a single person who thought they were not going to pull some kind of trick. But I guess there was enough pressure put on them that they voted." "Gay" marriage supporters protesting decision to let people vote on issue (Photo by MassResistance) He said he'd heard comments that the fact that a lawsuit existed troubled some lawmakers, and even local pundits who probably didn't want the measure to move forward had agreed that lawmakers should vote.