THOSE OF US who have lived with the Bay State’s marriage war for years can lose sight of how extreme we appear to much of the rest of the country.
This afternoon, the Legislature shot down the proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage. A few minutes after the vote, I was on the air discussing it with Dennis Prager, a nationally syndicated radio host based in Los Angeles. Citizen initiatives and referendums are nothing new to Californians, who vote on ballot issues all the time, but Prager wanted me to shed some light on the convoluted process a citizen-proposed constitutional amendment in Massachusetts must go through before it reaches the voters.
So I explained that even though 170,000 Bay State voters had signed petitions to put a marriage amendment on the ballot, it first had to undergo a vote in two consecutive sessions of the Legislature, and win support from at least 25 percent of the lawmakers each time. Since it had failed to do that, the amendment was now dead.