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Massachusetts
governor urges vote on same-sex marriage initiative

Massachusetts
governor urges vote on same-sex marriage initiative

Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney plans to appear at a rally Sunday to demand that state lawmakers, who have largely ignored him on the matter, vote on a proposed ballot question that would end same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. Last week the legislature again refused to take up the question at a joint session, voting instead to recess until January 2, which all but killed the measure because a vote then is unlikely. Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said the fight won't be over until the people vote. "No matter how you may feel about the marriage issue, people have a right to participate in their own government," he said. Arline Isaacson of the Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus said Romney is using a rally for a lost cause to boost his prospects with conservatives as he weighs a presidential run. "We're done; we won; it's over," Isaacson said. "No one wants this to continue except for the zealots on the other side and Romney because it helps his race." Because the legislature is in recess and did not adjourn, Romney has no legal authority to call lawmakers back into session. Same-sex marriage opponents say they are considering legal options to force a vote. More than 170,000 people signed a petition in support of the ballot question, which would strictly define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Supporters of the question say the state constitution requires a vote, but lawmakers who support same-sex marriage say there's no such mandate. A similar amendment on same-sex marriage died in 2002 when lawmakers refused to vote on it. (Jay Lindsay, AP)

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