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
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