National and state conservative organizations began a two-day strategy meeting in Boston on Tuesday to chart their response to a recent high court decision that could lead to America's first gay marriages. "We're obviously very concerned about what's happened with the issue of marriage in Massachusetts, and we're here gauging the temperature," said Genevieve Wood, vice president for communications at the Family Research Council, a Washington-based far-right religious group. Also in attendance at the meeting were representatives from Focus on the Family, another antigay national organization, the
Massachusetts Catholic Conference, the Massachusetts-based Center for Marriage Law, and the Massachusetts Family Institute, which organized the meeting. Wood said no decisions had been made about strategy or how much money would be spent to convince the public and lawmakers to take actions against gay marriage.
The U.S. House and Senate is scheduled to meet in February to vote on a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Under the supreme judicial court's November 18 decision, gay marriage could become legal in mid May, after the expiration of a 180-day court-ordered waiting period designed to give the legislature time to act. Lawmakers are considering legislation that would give gay couples all the benefits of marriage without the title. House speaker Thomas Finneran (D-Boston) has said it is also possible that the legislature will take no action.