Massachusetts lawmakers June 14 voted to kill a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, leaving opponents of such marriages discouraged. The state legislature, meeting in a joint session, voted 151-45 to block the proposed amendment from being placed on the 2008 ballot. The citizens-backed measure needed five more votes, 50 in all, to make the ballot. Governor Deval L.
In a surprise move, Massachusetts legislators took a first step toward banning same-sex marriages in the first and only state to make them legal. If the state legislature approves a ban in another vote during the 2007-2008 session, the initiative will be placed on the November 2008 ballot.
Massachusetts Episcopalians will seek authorization from their denomination to use the church’s official marriage rites in same-sex marriage ceremonies. Delegates in the diocese favored that step, 324 to 43, at a late October convention in Boston.