Massachusetts antigay marriage initiative moves forward

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com May 02 2003 12:00 AM ET

A proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Massachusetts will proceed through the
legislative process, having garnered an automatic negative recommendation following the judiciary committee's failure to act on the measure by Wednesday's deadline. The committee, which heard hours of testimony about the initiative earlier this week, did not take action before the senate clerk's office closed on Wednesday. Under the rules governing the constitutional convention, all proposed
amendments must be acted on by the relevant committee by the end of business on April 30. Any amendments that are not acted on then automatically appear on the docket at the constitutional convention with an "adverse recommendation." The house and senate could then accept that recommendation, reject it, or take no definitive action before adjourning.

Massachusetts's constitutional convention received harsh criticism from conservatives last year when it adjourned in July without taking action on a proposal to ban gay marriage.