Over 120,000 signatures have been gathered for a petition to the Massachusetts State, lobbying an amendment to the state constitution to define marriage as "the union of one man and one woman."
On Nov. 22, the Massachusetts- based pro-family organization VoteOnMarriage.org has announced the successful achievement of the signature drive launched on Sept. 21, according to a statement released on its website.
In an effort to place the Protection of Marriage Amendment on the ballot in November 2008, VoteOnMarriage.org launched the petition drive and aimed to collect 65,825 signatures during the 60-day period of Sept. 21 to Nov. 23, 2005. Meanwhile, nearly double the necessary signatures have been collected, adding momentum to the petition of VoteOnMarriage.org.
The text of the Protection of Marriage Amendment stated, "When recognizing marriages entered into after the adoption of this amendment by the people, the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall define marriage only as the union of one man and one woman."
According to the statement, Kris Mineau, president of Massachusetts Family Institute and spokesman of VoteOnMarriage.org said, "I credit this phenomenal effort to thousands of citizen volunteers and over 1,200 communities of faith - including Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim - who have worked tirelessly to give every citizen in the Commonwealth a voice in how marriage is defined in Massachusetts."
Massachusetts has been the only state in the United States that approves same sex marriage, since a ruling in Supreme Court in 2003. The controversial ruling has outraged many Christian churches and pro-family organizations across America.
VoteOnMarriage.org said 19 states already have passed constitutional amendments defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Dozens of other states even have "Defense of Marriage" laws that preclude their states from recognizing same sex marriages and/or civil unions performed in other states, according to VoteOnMarriage.org. Federally, the Defense of Marriage Law, passed by President Clinton, also precludes the federal government from recognizing same sex marriages.
"What the citizens of Massachusetts have done is roll up their sleeves and assume their legal rights as citizens to have a voice in government," Mineau added.
With 65,825 certified signatures, the petition then must be approved by 25 percent of the legislature, or 50 members, in two successive sessions before it goes to the ballot in 2008, according to VoteOnMarriage.org. Therefore, the support of Massachusetts citizens has made one step closer to the goal of making an amendment to the state constitution.
Cities and towns are currently processing petitions and will continue until Dec. 5. The final number of petitions will be brought to the office of the Secretary of State who has the responsibility of certification on Dec. 7.