Same-sex couples may very well lose their ability to be married legally in Massachusetts, currently the only state in America which allows that right at this time. State legislators in Massachusetts voted to advance a constitutional amendment which would define marriage as between “one man and one woman” and also ban gay marriage. This narrowly-passed vote to advance takes a crucial step forward in the plan to put this amendment on the ballot in the 2008 election year.

The legislature failed to even debate the amendment before passing it shortly after the joint session was opened. Governor-elect Deval Patrick urged the legislating bodies to vote down the proposed amendment, saying that it would put discrimination back into the constitution and that it was a question of conscience. His urgings were ignored.

Last week, the Massachusetts Supreme Court lambasted the legislature for not voting on the amendment the previous year but instead recessing, leaving the issue unresolved. The court ordered the legislature to take a vote. The vote squeaked by, 61 ayes to 132 nayes, just barely reaching the 50 votes needed from this legislature. Once the next legislature is sworn in, the amendment will need to be voted on once again, and pass with 50 votes, to make it onto the ballot in 2008.

This newest vote brings the marriage rights of many into question, with only a few courses of action left to preserve that civil right for so many.

Read more about it here.

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