BOSTON, September 8, 2005 ( – The Massachusetts attorney general approved a ballot Wednesday that would allow voters an opportunity to overturn a 2003 activist court decision by voting on a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex “marriage” for the commonwealth during the next general election in 2008.

The approval from Attorney General Thomas Reilly now means that the Massachusetts Family Institute can begin to gather the 65,825 signatures necessary for the next approval stage of the ballot. Assuming the petition, due December 7, succeeds, the next hurdle is garnering 25 percent support among lawmakers in both 2006 and 2007, before the measure is finally approved for the ballot in 2008.

A homosexual activist group, the Massachusetts Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus, has already vowed to challenge the ballot approval in court. “We don’t for a moment doubt they will get the signatures, and then once they get the signatures our side is going to sue” to stop the amendment from going to a ballot, said the group’s co-chair, Arline Isaacson, according to a Reuters News report.

Another homosexual activist group has started a web-site,, which posts the name and addresses of all those who sign the petition including a search feature allowing users to find petitioners by home address.

Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney urged Reilly to approve the measure. “Citizens should not be excluded from a decision as fundamental to society as the legal definition of marriage,” he said in a letter.

The current measure, an initiative of the Massachusetts Family Institute, supersedes a proposed measure to replace same-sex “marriage” with civil unions. “Civil unions are a legislative matter and should not be part of the state constitution,” the MFI web site states. “Civil unions are discriminatory because they provide special privileges based on the sexual preference of a small, vocal group and disregard the legitimate needs of people in dependent relationships that are not based on sexual preference.”

The MFI’s proposed amendment states: “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.”

Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has said he backs the MFI amendment, arguing that the compromise “muddied” the same-sex “marriage” issue by legalizing civil unions.

See related coverage:
“Civil Unions Do Not Belong in Constitution” Emphasizes US Pro-Family Group