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MARRIAGE DIGEST: Activists seek invalidation of Mass. amend.; student allegedly suspended for participating in Day of Truth; …


BOSTON (BP)–An attorney representing homosexual activists asked Massachusetts’ highest court May 4 to invalidate a proposed constitutional marriage amendment, arguing that the state constitution prohibits citizens from reversing a court ruling.

At issue is a proposed amendment supported by pro-family groups that would protect the natural definition of marriage by banning future “gay marriages” while leaving past ones intact. It is aimed directly at a 2003 decision by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts legalizing “gay marriage.”

That same court heard arguments May 4 concerning whether the amendment should be allowed to go forward. It still needs approval by two consecutive sessions of the Massachusetts legislature before it would appear on the 2008 ballot.

Gary D. Buseck, an attorney with the legal organization Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, argued that an amendment added to the constitution in 1917-1918 prevents citizens from invalidating rulings by the state high court. Buseck’s organization is the same one that successfully sued to legalize “gay marriage.”

“[T]he people shouldn’t be able to directly attack an SJC decision,” Buseck told the justices, according to The Boston Globe. “They shouldn’t be able to have a referendum on that decision.”

Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly, a Democrat, certified the proposed amendment last September, allowing conservative groups to begin collecting signatures. Those groups subsequently gathered some 124,000 signatures -– roughly twice the number required. The amendment now awaits legislative action.

Assistant Attorney General Peter Sacks, who wrote a 14-page summary last year defending Reilly’s decision, told the justices that the drafters of the Massachusetts constitution were “very clear that the people should be the masters of their own constitution,” The Globe reported.

Similarly, Sacks argued in the summary last year that the drafters “clearly meant to allow initiative petitions to amend the words of the constitution in response to a court decision finding a law unconstitutional.” Reilly, who is running for governor, supports “gay marriage” but argues that his legal decision was the right one.

If the amendment survives the court challenge, it would then require the support of 25 percent of the legislature in two consecutive sessions. Conservative leaders in Massachusetts are confident they have the necessary votes.

The amendment would not ban “gay marriages” that already have taken place. Amendment supporters feared such an amendment would not survive a legal challenge and also would face an uphill climb in the left-leaning legislature.

DAY OF TRUTH LAWSUIT – A conservative legal group has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of a North Carolina high school student who allegedly was suspended for distributing cards -– outside of class time -– that affirmed the biblical stance against homosexuality. Benjamin Arthurs, a ninth-grader at Midway High School in Sampson County, N.C., participated April 27 in the “Day of Truth,” a nationwide event sponsored by the Alliance Defense Fund that seeks to counter the “Day of Silence,” which is supported by homosexual activist groups and was held this year on April 26.

“School officials shouldn’t be treating religious students any differently than they treat other students,” ADF senior counsel David Cortman said in a statement. “Other students at the school were allowed to participate in the Day of Silence, showing their support for the homosexual agenda by handing out flyers and remaining silent throughout the school day. Yet the school suspended this ninth-grader for expressing a different perspective during non-class time. This is unconstitutional treatment, plain and simple.”

Students participating in the Day of Truth pass out cards, outside of instructional time, that read, “I am speaking the Truth to break the silence. Silence isn’t freedom. It’s a constraint. Truth tolerates open discussion, because the Truth emerges when healthy discourse is allowed. By proclaiming the Truth in love, hurts will be halted, hearts will be healed, and lives will be saved.”

CHENEY’S DAUGHTER SPEAKS OUT – Mary Cheney, the 37-year-old daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, has written a book in which she speaks out about her homosexuality. In “Now It’s My Turn: A Daughter’s Chronicle of Political Life,” she talks about the 2004 campaign, in which President Bush came out in support of a marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution. She served on the campaign.

“[Bush] let me know he would understand if I wanted to put out a statement,” she told People magazine. “For me, that would have been so inappropriate. I signed on to be a staffer [on the campaign]. I didn’t sign on to express my own point of view.”

She fully supports “gay marriage.”

“I make it clear in the book I passionately disagree with President Bush on the issue of the amendment,” she said. “But I also make it very clear that I had no doubt … that President Bush was the absolute best person to be leading us at this time in our country’s history.”

TEXTBOOK BILL ADVANCES – A California bill that would require textbooks to include “gay history” passed the state Senate Education Committee by a party-line vote of 8-3 May 3, with Democrats supporting it and Republicans opposing it. The bill had passed a different committee, and was set to be sent to the floor in late April, but Senate leaders placed it on the education committee’s schedule.

The bill, SB 1437, now officially goes to the full Senate.

“This bill only seeks to advance acceptance of certain sexual lifestyles in California,” Benjamin Lopez of the Traditional Values Coalition, told the education, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
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For more information about the national debate over “gay marriage,” visit http://www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage

    About the Author

  • Michael Foust