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Anti–marriage equality group withdraws suit in
Massachusetts

Anti–marriage equality group withdraws suit in
Massachusetts

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Same-sex marriage opponents on Thursday withdrew a federal lawsuit that sought $5 million from Massachusetts lawmakers who blocked a vote in November on a proposed constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage.

Same-sex marriage opponents on Thursday withdrew a federal lawsuit that sought $5 million from Massachusetts lawmakers who blocked a vote in November on a proposed constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage. The decision to withdraw the lawsuit comes two days after lawmakers in Boston voted to advance the amendment. The measure still needs approval in the next legislative session before it can appear on the ballot in 2008. VoteOnMarriage.org filed the lawsuit in December against 109 lawmakers who voted to adjourn the legislature without considering the amendment. It claimed the lawmakers violated supporters' rights to free speech, rights to petition the government, and due process under the law. The lawsuit sought $500,000 for the cost of the group's legal battles and another $5 million in punitive damages. Glen Lavy, a lawyer representing VoteOnMarriage.org, said there was no reason to pursue the case ''now that the legislature has chosen to do the right thing and vote.'' The decision also follows the threat of a countersuit by 14 of 109 lawmakers. The lawmakers sent a letter to the group on December 29 calling the suit frivolous and giving them 21 days to withdraw it. (AP)

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