Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Gay Activists Sue to Protect Gay Marriage

from Associated Press - Boston:


BOSTON (AP) - Gay rights activists sued on Tuesday in an effort to block a proposed constitutional amendment that would put an end to same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.

The lawsuit, filed by Gay and Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, challenges a September ruling by state Attorney General Tom Reilly that found the amendment drive was legal.

That ruling allowed backers of the amendment to begin collecting signatures. They gathered more than 120,000 - well above the 65,000 needed to get the measure on the 2008 ballot.

Gary Buseck, GLAD legal director, said the Massachusetts Constitution bars any citizen-initiated amendment that "relates to the reversal of a judicial decision." Reilly should have blocked the question from going forward on those grounds, Buseck said.

The proposed amendment is designed "squarely and solely" to reverse the landmark 2003 decision by Massachusetts' high court that legalized gay marriage, Buseck said.

A Reilly spokesman defended the decision.

"While the attorney general does not personally support the proposal, we are confident that letting this question proceed was the right decision," David Guarino said. "This proposal isn't a reversal of a judicial decision, but an effort to change the constitution going forward."

Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, one of the prime backers of the amendment, said the proposed amendment does not specifically try to reverse the court ruling but rather seeks to spell out the legal definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman.


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