Massachusetts lawmakers today voted on the Travaglini-Finneran amendment that would define marriage as a union between a man and a women but allow for civil unions. Pro-family groups feel they have been cheated into accepting civil unions in their push to preserve traditional marriage but are hoping Massachusetts’ Governor Mitt Romney will rectify the situation.
Pro-family Leaders Feel Blackmailed
On the decided amendment, Chief Counsel for Concerned Women for America Jan LaRule said, “This is like asking for one answer to these two questions: ‘Do you want to protect U.S. currency?’ Second question: ‘Do you want to legalize counterfeit currency? Yes or no?’”
Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, described said what the amendment was “nothing short of blackmail”.
"This should be known as Black Monday. Legislators know the people want to vote on the definition of marriage but instead of giving them a 'clean bill,' they are forcing them to pass civil unions at the same time,” said Perkins, who is currently reporting from Boston.
The decision reached during the commonwealth constitutional convention regarding the amendment accomplished nothing for protecting traditional marriage, pro-family advocates said.
"The Massachusetts Amendment, in its current form, does nothing to prevent the erosion of the family. While the amendment protects the name of 'marriage,' that is all it does," said Dr. D. James Kennedy, president and founder of the Center for Reclaiming America.
"It being the public policy of this Commonwealth to protect the unique relationship of marriage, only the union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Massachusetts. Two persons of the same sex shall have the right to form a civil union, if they meet the requirements set forth by law for marriage."
"Civil unions for same-sex couples are established hereunder and shall provide entirely the same benefits, protections, rights and responsibilities that are afforded to couples married under Massachusetts law. All laws applicable to marriage shall also apply to civil unions."
"This article is self-executing, but the General Court may enact laws not inconsistent with anything herein contained to carry out the purpose of this article."
Gov. Romney is Traditional Marriage's Last Defense
The amendment stands another test during the constitutional convention next year, where it must be passed under a new legislature in order to appear on the November 2006 ballot. A possibility lies for a different amendment to be proposed at that time.
However, a more pending issue is the same-sex marriage licenses that will be issued as early as May 17 if Gov. Romney does not intervene.
“Gov. Mitt Romney who is the last defense for marriage in Massachusetts,” said Perkins.
According to pro-family groups, it is clear what Romney’s next step should be.
“Gov. Romney should immediately seek a stay on the court’s marriage ruling and also issue an executive order prohibiting anyone from granting a state marriage license to same-sex couples,” said LaRue.
“The only way to protect marriage in the 49 other states is to pass the Federal Marriage Amendment," asserted Perkins.