Jun 16, 2006

The Senator responds

Thank you for contacting me recently to express your opinion about the
proposed constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. I appreciate knowing your thoughts on this serious issue.

The issue confronting the Legislature is whether to adopt an amendment that bars a segment of society of rights afforded to others. Because of that, I have twice voted against attempts to prevent same-sex marriage during a joint session of the Legislature known as a Constitutional Convention. The first came in March of 2004 when I voted against the "Travaglini/Lees" amendment, which would have banned same-sex marriage and allowed civil unions. The second came when I voted against it again in September of 2005.

There is another Constitutional Convention scheduled for July 12, 2006. At that time, the Legislature will vote on whether or not the following amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution should go before the voters in November of 2008, "When recognizing marriages entered into after the adoption of this amendment by the people, the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall define marriage only as the union of one man and one woman."

You should know that I intend to vote against this new amendment because I believe writing discrimination into our state's constitution, and denying the basic rights and protections of marriage to all of our citizens, is simply wrong. In the nearly two years since same-sex couples have had the right to marry, we have seen much joy brought to families throughout the state and in Central Massachusetts. The sky has not fallen, no one has been harmed. In fact, the institution of marriage has only grown stronger as families have been formed.
Again, thank you for contacting my office to express your views on this important issue.

Harriette L. Chandler
State Senator

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