Legislature Postpones Constitutional Convention
Until Next Year
The joint Legislature met in Constitutional
Convention at two o'clock yesterday afternoon to consider the Constitutional
Amendment defining marriage as one-man-and-one-woman.
The session lasted about one minute before
Senate President Robert E. Travaglini, who runs constitutional conventions,
abruptly postponed all debate until February 11, 2004.
"As Wednesday approached it had become more
and more evident that the Legislature did not want to decide on
homosexual marriage until other events -- notably a Supreme Judicial
Court decision -- forces them to," commented Brian Camenker,
President of Parents Rights Coalition. "The only question yesterday
was how long they would delay until the next time," said Camenker.
About thirty supporters of the Amendment had come to the State House
from around the state and gathered outside the chambers. Two or
three gay activists were also spotted in the area.
Everything happened very quickly and there were not any outbursts
from either side, as has happened in the past.
According to Camenker, various press reports say that legislative
leaders intend to get right to work passing a "domestic partner"
package for homosexuals in Massachusetts, which Travaglini favors.
This could possibly happen within a few weeks. Several legislators
have reported that gay activists have already been lobbying hard
and furiously for gay marriage-like legislation.
The President of Massachusetts Citizens for Marriage,
Sarah McVay Pawlick, has also pointed out that the MCM Amendment
from last year is still in play. She reports that the SJC has advised
her that they need extra time to decide her case, which asked the
Court to send the Amendment on to this new Legislature inasmuch
as the old one violated the state Constitution when it failed to
take a vote on the measure.
Ron Crews, president of Massachusetts Family Institute,
said he agrees with the decision to postpone a vote on the Amendment
until next year. "This is a critical issue," said Crews.
"I don't want them to debate it in a hurry; but to debate it,
come to a vote, and hopefully, let the voters decide."