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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Finis.

The Massachusetts Speaker of the House, Tom Finneran, is stepping down and a more liberal Democrat, Salvatore F. DiMasi, is replacing him. Good news for supporters of marriage equality:

A key legislative backer of the proposed amendment to ban same-sex marriage and establish civil unions yesterday all but declared defeat, saying that Finneran's exit from Beacon Hill was the final straw in an effort that already was in trouble because the state has legalized same-sex marriage with little of the uproar predicted by opponents.

"It is pretty much over," said Senate minority leader Brian P. Lees, a Springfield Republican who cosponsored the amendment with Finneran and Senate President Robert E. Travaglini. The House and Senate, sitting in a constitutional convention, must vote a second time in the next session before it could go to the voters on the 2006 ballot.

"In fact, there will be a question as to whether the issue will come up at all," Lees said. He said the issue has faded to the "back burners of Massachusetts politics," because few problems have surfaced with the implementation of the Supreme Judicial Court's decision to legalize gay marriage.

"With the fact the law has been in effect for a number of months and with the change in the House leadership, it would appear any change in the constitution to ban marriage is quickly fading," Lees said.

("Foes of Gay Marriage See Blow to Amendment Hopes," Frank Phillips, Boston Globe 9.27.04)

Copyright © 2004 by Philocrites | Posted 28 September 2004 at 8:00 AM

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