Thursday, June 14, 2007

Mass Bishops ask for the right to vote

From CWN:

Boston, Jun. 13, 2007 ( - The Catholic bishops of Massachusetts have called upon members of the state legislature to vote in favor of a proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage, thus allowing the state's citizens to decide the issue.

The Massachusetts legislature is scheduled to meet on June 14 in a constitutional convention, to take up a proposed amendment that narrowly survived a key vote at a similar session in the last legislature. If it wins the support of 50 lawmakers, the proposed amendment would be put on the statewide ballot for ratification by the voters.

In their June 12 statement, the bishops of Massachusetts asked legislators to allow that statewide vote. "True fairness," the bishops said, "involves letting the people vote on the marriage amendment to define exactly what constitutes marriage."

The people of Massachusetts have not yet had an opportunity to voice their opinion on the court decision that allowed same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. In light of the issue's importance, the bishops urge legislators to give voters that opportunity. Their June 12 message encourages the lawmakers to act without further delay, to ensure that the proposed amendment comes up for a vote.

Both supporters and opponents of the marriage amendment anticipate a closely contested vote at the June 14 constitutional convention. Gay-rights activists have urged legislative leaders to kill the measure by a procedural vote rather than allow the proposed amendment to be placed on the ballot.

The Massachusetts constitution requires legislators to take a vote on a proposed amendment that, like this one, has been endorsed by the signatures of over 100,000 voters. However, legislative leaders can postpone that vote until later in the session.

It does seem interesting that those most interested in "freedom" and "fairness" are only interested in it when it pertains to them or those with whom they agree. "Freedom for me, but not for thee" seems to be their rule. Sadly as well, we're not likely done with these types of problems until judges are shown that juridicial legislation is against the will and intent of the constitutions, both federal and state - the long tail of Roe v. Wade casts a terrible shadow.