Governor will ask court to order lawmakers to vote on anti-gay marriage amendment
BOSTON Gov. Mitt Romney said Sunday he would ask the state’s highest court to order an anti-gay marriage amendment question onto the ballot if legislators fail to vote on the matter when they reconvene in January.
Romney, a potential presidential candidate in 2008, said he would file a legal action this week asking a single justice of the Supreme Judicial Court to direct the secretary of state to place the question on the ballot if the lawmakers do not vote directly on the question on Jan. 2, the final day of the session.
Romney made his announcement to the cheers of hundreds of gay marriage opponents at a rally on the Statehouse steps.
Across the street, people in favor of gay marriage staged a counter-protest, with both groups chanting back and forth.
Romney criticized lawmakers since they refused earlier this month to take up the question at a joint session, voting instead to recess until Jan. 2. The move all but killed the measure because a vote then is unlikely.
More than 170,000 people had signed a petition in support of the ballot question, which would define marriage as between only a man and a woman.
“A decision not to vote is a decision to usurp the Constitution, to abandon democracy and substitute a form of what this nation’s founders called tyranny, that is, the imposition of the will of those in power, on the people,” Romney said. “The issue now before us is not whether same-sex couples should marry. The issue before us today is whether 109 legislators will follow the Constitution.”
Because the Legislature is in recess and did not adjourn, Romney has no legal authority to call lawmakers back into session.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, November 24, 2006.