Massachusetts Continue Debate on Same Sex Marriage to a Later Date

( [email protected] ) Aug 27, 2005 10:00 PM EDT

On Wed, Massachusetts state legislators have voted to meet on Sept 14 for a Constitutional Convention to debate on whether they will replace same-sex marriages with civil-unions for the second time around.

The House and Senate approved the amendment last year, however, the state constitution requires that they approve the amendment in two consecutive sessions before the amendment can be place before the state voters in 2006.

Same-Sex marriage in Massachusetts was approved in 2003 through a ruling from the state Supreme Court which allowed many same-sex couples to wed and granted them the benefits of heterosexual couples.

However, some are doubtful on whether or not the bill will be approved this time since some of the supporters have turned their backs on supporting the legislation. Representative Anthony Petuccelli said earlier this week that he will not support the proposal even though he supported it last year.

Last month, The Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI) submitted a petition of signatures, which is an attempt to amend the constitution by including the definition that marriage is between one man and one woman.

Gov. Mitt Romney, who supports MFI, said that a compromise "muddied" the issue of gay marriage.

The petition of signatures will be reviewed by Attorney General Tom Reilly, and if it is approved, proponents would have to gather another 66,000 signatures to get it on the ballot.

"We believe we are on rock-solid ground," Kristian Mineau, president of MFI told Reuters.