Thursday, June 16, 2005

Mitt Back on the Marriage Ban Wagon

About a month ago, I noted that Mitt Romney probably didn't want to have anything to do with the gay marriage compromise amendment that created civil unions and could potentially be on the ballot in 2006, the same year he'd be up for reelection.

Well, according to the AP (via the Globe), Romney has now thrown his support to a citizen's initiative that would propose a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, and could potentially be on the ballot in 2008 -- by which time Romney could potentially be long gone from Massachusetts politics. Unlike the amendment that will be voted on at this fall's constitutional convention, this one would not create civil unions. Here's what Romney has to say about it:

"I believe it's superior to the amendment which is currently pending before the state Legislature, and hope that this amendment will ultimately be the one which the citizens have the opportunity to vote upon," he said.
Notice that he is implying here that he hopes the compromise amendment does not reach the voters. My feeling is that without Romney's support, the civil unions amendment is dead. The legislators who voted against it in 2004 because they were against civil unions have no incentive to switch and the cadre of Republicans and conservative Dems who were convinced by Romney to vote for it last time won't have any reason to vote for it.

In addition, this citizen's initiative will not hit the statewide ballot (if it makes it that far) until 2008. By then, hundreds more same-sex couples will be legally married and I can't imagine that Bay Staters will be particularly keen to force them to divorce. In addition, after four years of no apocalypse with marriage equality, the chances that the anti-marriage amendment will pass are much worse than they would be in 2006.

Thanks to Kristen at The Fray for pointing this out. Marry in Massachusetts has his own take on the events.