February 4, 2004


“The history of our nation has demonstrated that separate is seldom, if ever, equal,” the four justices who ruled in favor of gay marriage wrote in the advisory opinion. A bill that would allow for civil unions, but falls short of marriage, makes for “unconstitutional, inferior, and discriminatory status for same-sex couples.”

The much-anticipated opinion sets the stage for next Wednesday’s constitutional convention, where the Legislature will consider an amendment that would legally define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Without the opinion, Senate President Robert Travaglini had said the vote would be delayed.

The soonest a constitutional amendment could end up on the ballot would be 2006, meaning that until then, the high court’s decision will be Massachusetts law no matter what is decided at the constitutional convention.

I’m fine with that. Obligatory horserace pundit point: It probably won’t help John Kerry to escape the Massachussetts Liberal label — though he did, in what he himself describes as “an act of courage,” vote against the Defense of Marriage Act, so presumably he’s just as fine with it as I am!

UPDATE: Here’s a link to the opinion letter.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Darren Kaplan thinks this is bad news for Kerry. Maybe yes, maybe no.

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