Jeff Jacoby: A political grenade

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.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture

4 comments on “Jeff Jacoby: A political grenade

  1. deaconjohn25 says:

    Jacoby’s point is the opposite of thinking by Democrats. The national party and national Democrat leaders didn’t want the issue on the ballot in 2008. The feeling is that it would hurt the party vote since even in Mass. gay “marriage” (it always should be in quotations because there is no siuch thing as gay “marriage”) was figured a possible loser on the ballot. But Jacoby may be right and the Democrats may have blown not only their foot off but a leg or two–since the Republican candidate will most likely be against gay “marriage” and the Democrat for it–and if it becomes a hot national issue because of “full faith and credit” during the presidential campaign–as it now seems likely it could–the Dems are looking at landslides against their position by more than 2 to 1. Of course the liberal MSM could “blackball” the issue and continue their role as the propaganda arm of the liberal wing of the Democrat Party.

  2. Irenaeus says:

    “But today’s vote on Beacon Hill is a political grenade waiting to detonate elsewhere.”

    It may denotate in both places—costing some no-voting Massachusetts legislators their seats, encouraging additional states to adopt constitutional amendments precluding gay marriage, and heightening anxiety about gay marriage even in states that have already adopted such amendments. National Democratic leaders may rue the day they helped twist arms in Massachusetts.

  3. Larry Morse says:

    Irenaeus has hit the bullseye. L

  4. Barry says:


    Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions. This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.

    (Virginia Constitution, approved by 57% of voters on Tuesday, November 7, 2006)
    Not happening in Virginia.

    Massachusetts voters should throw the bums out or better yet have a recall. Most state constitutions allow for recalling legislators.