By Gudrun Schultz

BOSTON, Massachusetts, September 21, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The state of Massachusetts’ decision to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples, under the direction of Governor Mitt Romney, went directly against the state constitution and was in fact illegal, a Boston-based coalition of lawyers has charged.

“No argument for the legality of homosexual marriage in Massachusetts can survive an examination either of the state constitution or of the Supreme Judicial Court’s own case law,” said lawyers in a statement to the head of the Washington D.C.-based Family Research Council, Mr. Tony Perkins.

The state Supreme Court ruling in Goodridge vs. the department of Public Health, delivered on November 18th, 2003, declared that banning gay “marriage” was unconstitutional; that ruling, however, did not change the law.

“The Massachusetts Constitution emphatically denies the judiciary the power to strike down laws or to suspend their enforcement or to assume any of the policy-making responsibilities of the elected branches,” the lawyers stated.

”[A]nyone asserting that the [Supreme Judicial Court] decision ‘legalized’ homosexual marriage in Massachusetts is fundamentally wrong about one of the clearest and most forceful parts of the state constitution.”

In fact, the lawyers said, the Supreme Court ruling acknowledged the limitation of judicial power and left it to the legislature to strike down the original marriage statute which excluded homosexual marriage. “Only a constitutional amendment by the people would be allowed to change the constitutional meaning of the term marriage.”

The legislature did not take that step. Nevertheless, Gov. Romney ordered the state to issue homosexual marriage licenses, an order that directly contravened the existing marriage statute.

“How did Mitt Romney get the authority to strike down a law that he had sworn to uphold and that the court said would remain in force until the Legislature repealed it?” the lawyers said. “Is Mitt Romney a one-man legislature? The Executive has no legal authority to enforce laws that do not exist.”

The group pointed out that Gov. Romney’s Training Session for Town Clerks on implementing the SJC decision acknowledged that the law had not been changed, while at the same time calling for the implementation of the “new law” permitting homosexual marriage on May 17, 2004.

The lawyers called for an “immediate” change to the language used by pro-family groups opposing same-sex marriage.

“It must be repeated at every opportunity that homosexual marriage is not legal in Massachusetts and that under direct assault from all three branches of government, constitutional governance has broken down in this state and such behavior is spreading elsewhere.”

Access Goodridge vs. Department of Public Health here:
http://www.masslaw.com/signup/opinion.cfm?page=ma/opin/sup/1017603.htm

See related LifeSiteNews coverage:

Massachusetts Court Orders State to Allow Homosexual ‘Marriage’
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2003/nov/03111801.html

Poll Reveals More than Two-thirds of Massachusetts Voters Want Vote on Marriage
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2004/jan/04010704.html