Marriage in Mass

Another reader dissent:

While I understand your point about the desirability of a popular vote to finally reject efforts to overturn gay marriage rights, I disagree that the legislature has somehow acted improperly or that its action somehow taints the result.  The state's constitution spells out clearly how to amend the constitution: approval of the amendment on the ballot for two sessions by the legislature followed by a popular vote.  There is a clearly defined role for both the legislature and the populace and an obligation by both to use their independent judgment in weighing changes to the constitution.  Yesterday the state legislators, constituting a duly elected body representing the people of Massachusetts, decided by a majority vote that, in their judgment, the proposed constitutional amendment was not one they could support.  The only way to see this result, in my opinion, is as legislative ratification of the state constitutional right of gays to marry.

As with any other bill or constitutional amendment, the proponents of the gay marriage ban are free to campaign to "throw the bums out" the next time they are up for election and try again with a new set of legislators.  That this effort is doomed to failure by the fact that only the opponents of gay marriage rights, not the supporters of such rights, seem to lose popular elections these days, while an enjoyable fact, is of no account in this analysis.