Complete Roll Call Vote:
No=151 Yes=45 Absent=3 Vacancy=1
Robert A. Antonioni, (D-Leominster) - N
Edward M. Augustus, (D-Worcester) - N
Steven A. Baddour, (D-Methuen) - N
Jarrett T. Barrios, (D-Cambridge) - N
Frederick E. Berry, (D-Peabody) - N
Stephen M. Brewer, (D-Barre) - N
Scott P. Brown, (R-Wrentham) - Y
Stephen J. Buoniconti, (D-West Springfield) - N
Gale D. Candaras, (D-Wilbraham) - N
Harriette L. Chandler, (D-Worcester) - N
Robert S. Creedon Jr., (D-Brockton) - Y
Cynthia Stone Creem, (D-Newton) - N
Benjamin B. Downing, (D-Pittsfield) - N
Susan C. Fargo, (D-Lincoln) - N
John A. Hart, (D-Boston) - N
Robert A. Havern, (D-Arlington) - N
Robert L. Hedlund, (R-Weymouth) - Y
Patricia Jehlen, (D-Somerville) - N
Brian A. Joyce, (D-Milton) - N
Michael R. Knapik, (R-Westfield) - N
Thomas M. McGee, (D-Lynn) - N
Joan M. Menard, (D-Fall River) - N
Mark C. Montigny, (D-New Bedford) - N
Richard T. Moore, (D-Uxbridge) - Y
Michael W. Morrissey, (D-Quincy) - N
Therese Murray, (D-Plymouth) - N
Robert D. O'Leary, (D-Barnstable) - N
Marc R. Pacheco, (D-Taunton) - N
Steven C. Panagiotakos, (D-Lowell) - Y
Pamela P. Resor, (D-Acton) - N
Stanley C. Rosenberg, (D-Amherst) - N
Karen E. Spilka, (D-Ashland) - N
Bruce E. Tarr, (R-Gloucester) - N
James E. Timilty, (D-Walpole) - N
Richard R. Tisei, (R-Wakefield) - N
Steven A. Tolman, (D-Boston) - N
Susan C. Tucker, (D-Andover) - N
Marian Walsh, (D-West Roxbury) - N
Dianne Wilkerson, (D-Boston) - N
Geraldo Alicea, (D-Charlton) - N
Willie Mae Allen, (D-Boston) - N
Cory Atkins, (D-Concord) - N
Demetrius J. Atsalis, (D-Hyannis) - ABSENT
Bruce J. Ayers, (D-Quincy) - Y
Ruth B. Balser, (D-Newton) - N
Fred Barrows, (R-Mansfield) - Y
John J. Binienda, (D-Worcester) - Y
Daniel E. Bosley, (D-North Adams) - N
Garrett J. Bradley, (D-Hingham) - N
William N. Brownsberger, (D-Belmont) - N
Antonio F. D. Cabral, (D-New Bedford) - N
Jennifer M. Callahan, (D-Sutton) - N
Thomas Calter, (D-Kingston) - N
Linda Dean Campbell, (D-Methuen) - Y
Christine E. Canavan, (D-Brockton) - N
Stephen R. Canessa, (D-New Bedford) - N
Paul C. Casey, (D-Winchester) - Y
Cheryl A. Coakley-Rivera, (D-Springfield) - N
Thomas F. Conroy, (D-Wayland) - N
Robert Correia, (D-Fall River) - Y
Michael A. Costello, (D-Newburyport) - N
Geraldine Creedon, (D-Brockton) - Y
Sean Curran, (D-Springfield) - Y
Steven J. D'Amico, (D-Seekonk) - N
Robert A. DeLeo, (D-Winthrop) - N
Viriato Manuel deMacedo, (R-Plymouth) - Y
Brian S. Dempsey, (D-Haverhill) - N
Salvatore F. DiMasi, (D-Boston) - N
Stephen DiNatale, (D-Boston) - N
Paul J. Donato, (D-Medford) - Y
Christopher J. Donelan, (D-Orange) - N
Joseph R. Driscoll Jr., (D-Braintree) - N
James B. Eldridge, (D-Acton) - N
Lewis G. Evangelidis, (R-Holden) - Y
James H. Fagan, (D-Taunton) - Y
Christopher G. Fallon, (D-Malden) - N
Mark V. Falzone, (D-Saugus) - N
Robert F. Fennell, (D-Lynn) - N
John V. Fernandes, (D-Milford) - N
Michael E. Festa, (D-Melrose) - N
Barry R. Finegold, (D-Andover) - N
Jennifer Flanagan, (D-Leominster) - N
David L. Flynn, (D-Bridgewater) - Y
Linda Dorcena Forry, (D-Boston) - N
Gloria L. Fox, (D-Boston) - N
John P. Fresolo, (D-Worcester) - Y
Paul K. Frost, (R-Auburn) - Y
William C. Galvin, (D-Canton) - N
Colleen M. Garry, (D-Dracut) - Y
Susan W. Gifford, (R-Wareham) - Y
Anne M. Gobi, (D-Spencer) - N
Thomas A. Golden Jr., (D-Lowell) - N
Mary E. Grant, (D-Beverly) - N
William G. Greene Jr., (D-Billerica) - Y
Denis Guyer, (D-Dalton) - N
Patricia A. Haddad, (D-Somerset) - N
Geoffrey D. Hall, (D-Westford) - N
Robert S. Hargraves, (R-Groton) - Y
Lida E. Harkins, (D-Needham) - N
Bradford Hill, (R-Ipswich) - N
Kevin G. Honan, (D-Boston) - N
Donald F. Humason Jr., (R-Westfield) - Y
Frank M. Hynes, (D-Marshfield) - Y
Bradley H. Jones Jr., (R-North Reading) - N
Louis L. Kafka, (D-Stoughton) - N
Michael F. Kane, (D-Holyoke) - Y
Rachel Kaprielian, (D-Watertown) - N
Jay R. Kaufman, (D-Lexington) - N
John D. Keenan, (D-Salem) - N
Thomas P. Kennedy, (D-Brockton) - N
Kay Khan, (D-Newton) - N
Peter V. Kocot, (D-Northampton) - N
Robert M. Koczera, (D-New Bedford) - N
Peter J. Koutoujian, (D-Waltham) - N
Paul Kujawski, (D-Webster) - N
Stephen Kulik, (D-Worthington) - N
William Lantigua, (D-Lawrence) - Y
Stephen P. LeDuc, (D-Marlborough) - N
John A. Lepper, (R-Attleboro) - Y
David P. Linsky, (D-Natick) - N
Barbara A. L'Italien, (D-Andover) - N
Paul Loscocco, (R-Holliston) - N
Elizabeth A. Malia, (D-Boston) - N
Ronald Mariano, (D-Quincy) - N
James J. Marzilli Jr., (D-Arlington) - N
Allen J. McCarthy, (D-East Bridgewater) - N
Paul McMurtry, (D-Dedham) - N
James R. Miceli, (D-Wilmington) - Y
Michael Moran, (D-Boston) - N
Charles A. Murphy, (D-Burlington) - N
James M. Murphy, (D-Weymouth) - Y
Kevin M. Murphy, (D-Lowell) - N
David M. Nangle, (D-Lowell) - Y
Patrick Natale, (D-Woburn) - N
Harold P. Naughton Jr., (D-Clinton) - N
Robert J. Nyman, (D-Hanover) - N
James O'Day, (D-West Boylston) - N
Eugene L. O'Flaherty, (D-Chelsea) - N
Matthew C. Patrick, (D-Falmouth) - N
Sarah Peake, (D-Provincetown) - N
Vincent A. Pedone, (D-Worcester) - N
Alice H. Peisch, (D-Wellesley) - N
Jeffrey D. Perry, (R-Sandwich) - Y
Douglas W. Petersen, (D-Marblehead) - N
George N. Peterson Jr., (R-Grafton) - Y
Thomas M. Petrolati, (D-Ludlow) - Y
Anthony W. Petruccelli, (D-Boston) - N
William "Smitty" Pignatelli, (D-Lenox) - N
Elizabeth A. Poirier, (R-North Attleboro) - Y
Karyn E. Polito, (R-Shrewsbury) - Y
Denise Provost, (D-Somerville) - N
Angelo Puppolo, (D-Wilbraham) - N
John F. Quinn, (D-Dartmouth) - N
Kathi-Anne Reinstein, (D-Revere) - N
Robert Rice Jr., (D-Gardner) - N
Pam Richardson, (D-Framingham) - N
Michael J. Rodrigues, (D-Westport) - N
Mary S. Rogeness, (R-Longmeadow) - Y
John H. Rogers, (D-Norwood) - N
Richard J. Ross, (R-Wrentham) - N
Michael F. Rush, (D-Boston) - Y
Byron Rushing, (D-Boston) - N
Jeffrey Sanchez, (D-Boston) - N
Rosemary Sandlin, (D-Agawam) - N
Tom Sannicandro, (D-Ashland) - N
Angelo M. Scaccia, (D-Boston) - Y
John W. Scibak, (D-South Hadley) - N
Carl M. Sciortino Jr., (D-Somerville) - N
Stephen Smith, (D-Everett) - N
Frank I. Smizik, (D-Brookline) - N
Todd M. Smola, (R-Palmer) - Y
Theodore C. Speliotis, (D-Danvers) - N
Robert P. Spellane, (D-Worcester) - N
Christopher N. Speranzo, (D-Pittsfield) - N
Joyce A. Spiliotis, (D-Peabody) - Y
Marie P. St. Fleur, (D-Boston) - ABSENT
Harriett L. Stanley, (D-West Newbury) - N
Thomas M. Stanley, (D-Waltham) - N
Ellen Story, (D-Amherst) - N
William M. Straus, (D-Mattapoisett) - N
David B. Sullivan, (D-Fall River) - N
Benjamin Swan, (D-Springfield) - N
Walter F. Timilty, (D-Milton) - Y
A. Stephen Tobin, (D-Quincy) - Y
Timothy J. Toomey Jr., (D-Cambridge) - N
David M. Torrisi, (D-North Andover) - N
Eric Turkington, (D-Falmouth) - N
Cleon H. Turner, (D-Dennis) - N
James E. Vallee, (D-Franklin) - N
Anthony J. Verga, (D-Gloucester) - ABSENT
Joseph F. Wagner, (D-Chicopee) - N
Brian P. Wallace, (D-Boston) - N
Patricia A. Walrath, (D-Stow) - N
Martin J. Walsh, (D-Boston) - N
Steven M. Walsh, (D-Lynn) - N
Martha M. Walz, (D-Boston) - N
Daniel K. Webster, (R-Hanson) - Y
James T. Welch, (D-West Springfield) - N
Alice K. Wolf, (D-Cambridge) - N
LEGISLATURE AFFIRMS GAY MARRIAGE, DEFEATS BAN
By STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE STAFF
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, JUNE 14, 2007….Thrilling marriage equality supporters and without a word of debate, Massachusetts lawmakers Thursday prevented a citizen-backed petition banning gay marriage from appearing on the 2008 ballot, voting 151-45 to defeat the proposed constitutional amendment.
The vote came during a brief but emotionally charged joint session of the Legislature. Seven House and two Senate members, under heavy pressure from colleagues and activists, switched their votes from earlier Constitutional Conventions, preserving gay marriage in the only state where it is legal.
"The question has been fully vetted. We are fully aware and sensitive to the fact that it was a very personal decision, and now we can get on with the business of the Legislature," Senate President Therese Murray told a cheering crowd gathered inside the capitol moments after the vote.
Complying with a December ruling by the state's high court, which itself had legalized gay marriage, that lawmakers were bound to weigh in on the petition, the vote marked a blow to the practice of the populace playing a prominent role in writing laws. Petition supporters said the people should decide the issue.
Nine lawmakers voted against the ban who had previously supported it: Democratic Reps. Christine Canavan (D-Brockton), Paul Kujawski (D-Webster), Robert Nyman (D-Hanover), James Vallee (Franklin), and Brian Wallace (D-South Boston), Republican Reps. Richard Ross (Wrentham) and Paul Loscocco (R-Holliston), and Democratic Sens. Gale Candaras (Wilbraham) and Michael Morrissey (Quincy).
The outcome provides a clear display of the political power wielded by Murray, DiMasi, and Gov. Deval Patrick, who teamed up as the convention approached to pressure legislators who showed potential to change their votes.
Standing with Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei and other lawmakers before the chanting crowd at the base of the Grand Staircase, Beacon Hill's power trio exulted in the resolution of an issue that has at times consumed the capitol in recent years. Patrick told the News Service their efforts to ice the petition came "right down to the wire."
The petition had drawn supportive signatures from roughly 170,000 Massachusetts citizens. Opponents, led by Patrick, insisted that a November 2008 popular ballot referendum would cast Massachusetts into the midst of a presidential campaign, and convert the state into a stage where candidates could score political points, rendering it next to impossible for Beacon Hill to progress on other issues.
Gay marriage opponents, meanwhile, have pointed to the signature process as a democratic pillar that should guarantee citizens a right to vote on whether they want to change their constitution.
Rep. Paul Donato (D-Medford), a top DiMasi ally who resisted fierce pressure from gay marriage advocates, said later, "The question to me always was: Do the people have a right to amend their constitution, to a vote to amend their constitution? And that's what I voted to do."
Several lawmakers said they were taking counsel even in the last hours before the vote, and Patrick aides said they were meeting with lawmakers until 1 pm, when the convention was scheduled to start. Nearly two hours before the vote, House Majority Leader John Rogers (D-Norwood) told the News Service the leadership was confident the total had dwindled below 50, but wanted a margin of three votes. Rogers said, "You also want a healthy cushion in case there are any surprise switches at the last second."
The lead-up to the vote took a dramatic and surreal turn Wednesday, when Rep. Anthony Verga, a 72-year-old Gloucester Democrat, fell and banged his head on a capitol staircase. Verga was taken to the hospital, released Wednesday night, and was recovering at home Thursday and did not vote. Reps. Marie St. Fleur (D-Dorchester) and Demetrius Atsalis (D-Hyannis) also did not vote.
Lawmakers on both sides said they were relieved the issue had closed a chapter.
"It was very exhausting and so emotionally draining," Sen. Joan Menard (D-Somerset) said after the convention adjourned. "It took up so much of our time and energy. Almost everyone was relieved that something happened today and it was a vote and people voted."
Moments before Murray gaveled the convention to order, amendment opponents milled on the rostrum, DiMasi joking with colleagues, and lawmakers jovially greeting each other. Less than 15 minutes later, lawmakers burst into applause and activists cheered in the halls after Murray announced the final tally.
The convention then adjourned, killing all other items on the calendar for the year. After the vote, several pro-gay marriage legislators wept in the hall outside the House chamber.
"This is all we've done for two years!" Sen. Cynthia Creem (D-Newton) said to colleagues.
After their joint appearance at the Grand Staircase, Patrick, Murray, and DiMasi walked with a phalanx of aides and security through the usually locked entrance behind the statue of John F. Kennedy in front of the capitol, to a cheering mass on the State House steps. Across the street, a smaller group of anti-gay marriage protesters booed.
Kristian Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute and spokesman for Voteonmarriage.org, the prime organizing group behind the petition, told the protesters, "We didn't bribe anybody. We did it the right way." The crowd chanted "We're not going to go away!"
Patrick, like Mineau speaking through a megaphone, told the larger crowd on his side of Beacon Street, "The folks on the other side of the street are your brothers and sisters, too. And we must re-knit our community if we are going to move on to all of the issues important to all of us."
Earlier, Mineau told reporters his group is exploring other options, including starting another initiative petition. "I don't believe it's dead, because the people have not had the opportunity to have their vote," he said. "Let the people vote. And the people have been denied that repeatedly by this Legislature."
A spokeswoman for Attorney General Martha Coakley said another petition banning gay marriage could be filed as early as the first Wednesday in August. If eligible, the petition would circulate for signatures and potentially appear before the Legislature in January for a Constitutional Convention in 2008, the spokeswoman said. If approved with 50 votes, and then again during the 2009-2010 legislative session, it would appear on the ballot in 2010, she said.
Some of the legislators closest to the drive to defeat the measure said they were surprised at the margin.
"We thought we were going to win, but we did not expect the number to be this good," said Arline Isaacson, co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus.
Isaacson said gay marriage supporters will be willing to help legislators who face political fallout for switching their votes in their next election. She said, "Oh, we will be there. We will be there with volunteers and help and advise and do everything that we can do because there's no way we're not gonna help people who stood so tall and helped us. They defended our lives today."
The state's Supreme Judicial Court legalized gay marriage in November 2003, and in May 2004 same-sex couples began wedding as opponents of gay marriage geared up their petition drive.
Five years ago nearly to the day, gay marriage opponents on Beacon Hill were enraged when then-Senate President Thomas Birmingham abruptly adjourned the convention, arguing lawmakers needed to weigh the measure more thoroughly. That June 19, 2002 vote came at a time when the amendment enjoyed a margin believed to be above the 50-vote benchmark, and effectively killed a previous incarnation of the ban.
Vote-counters said the situation remained fluid into Thursday afternoon, even as the amendment's foes grew increasingly confident. Around noon, Sen. Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) said, "At the moment, I am a no. I'm always listening to arguments. Trying to listen to as many people as I can, even today."
Patrick denied that the administration had offered jobs as incentives for legislators to alter their stances, but, he said, "I think I am going to be doing a certain number of fundraisers and district visits, and I'm happy to do that."
Patrick told reporters, "There were lots of asks. There was a lot of rich conversation, and most of what we've committed to and I've committed to is to show up and support and indeed celebrate the political courage that was demonstrated today."
Asked what he would tell voters who felt disenfranchised, Patrick said the Legislature was correct in exercising its judgment, saying, "I think that the process worked as the process should."
Later, asked how difficult it had been to sway the last handful of votes, DiMasi told the News Service, "They were all tough."
Before the convention, Kujawski told the News Service he was undecided until yesterday but made up his mind before going to bed, he had.
In a written statement explaining her vote, Canavan said she didn't want to "create four classes of Massachusetts citizens: opposite-sex couples who are permitted to marry without restriction, same-sex couples who have married since May 17, 2004, same-sex couples who have not married at this time, and thus, will never be legally permitted to do so, and also same-sex couples who, upon death of a spouse, would not legally be permitted to remarry. After much thought, and this being the final vote, I vote today to not place this question on the ballot, and I am hopeful that today's vote will finally end the divisiveness this issue has created in this great Commonwealth."
On Wednesday, House Ways and Means chairman Rep. Robert DeLeo told reporters that, despite opposing the amendment, he and other lawmakers felt conflicted.
"I think it's just a very difficult decision to make, no matter which side that you're on, you have your pros and your cons in how you feel about it," DeLeo said. "I think there's a lot of internal pressure in terms of taking a vote like this. I think it's going to come down to soul-searching tomorrow, and I think it will be a very difficult vote. "
Mineau pointed to his side getting outspent 10 to 1 as one of the reasons for the result. Amendment opponents spent $2 million over the last six months, he said.
"We lost about 10 votes in the last 24 hours," he said.
Mineau also repeated charges of lawmakers getting offered jobs and opportunities to flip their vote.
"They were with us yesterday," he added. "We're very disappointed, we're shocked at the number of changes in the twenty-four hour period. And considering the amount of money and motivation that our opponents were boasting of, we'll watch very carefully the careers of those that changed their votes downstream, if there's any quid pro quo for these votes."
Asked about the charges of "quid pro quo," Rep. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton), fourth division whip for the gay marriage debate for the last four years said, "Not that I know of." He added: "I really think most of it was convincing legislators that this was the right thing to do."
Some lawmakers also expressed disappointment in the process.
"It was hurried, it was slammed through," said Rep. David Flynn (D-Bridgewater), dean of the House, who said he wasn't lobbied by DiMasi, Patrick or Murray and voted for the amendment.
"What bothered me was that I wasn't allowed to speak," said Flynn, who stood to offer a point of parliamentary inquiry but was not recognized because DiMasi said he couldn't interrupt a roll call. "I think each of us owed an explanation to our constituency."
Amendment backers lost five legislators who retired after the last legislative session, and this year's freshman class swept in with an overwhelmingly pro-gay marriage tilt, including several members who were undecided but eventually sided against the amendment.
Rep. Geraldo Alicea (D-Charlton) was one of the publicly non-committal freshmen, but said Thursday, "After careful thought and deliberation, I came to the decision today to support the rights of same sex couples."
The pressure to vote against the amendment, he said, did not come from Beacon Hill. "The pressure was from the district," said Alicea, who said an overwhelming number of constituents looked for him to highlight the importance of marriage rights. "I voted my conscience."
Rep. Michael Festa (D-Melrose), another top pro-gay marriage organizer, said he did not know whether there was going to be a vote today until Murray called for it but said, "we were getting confirmation we had the votes." Festa said, according to his count, the number of lawmakers supporting the amendment oscillated between 45 and 47.
Festa said he was "proud" of the lawmakers who were struggling with their final decision, and particularly appreciative of Ross and Loscocco.
The amendment's chances grew smaller as state government's top three figures began working more closely, eventually guarding information about the ban's prospects so closely that top advisers and other legislative leaders professed ignorance about the process. On Wednesday, Sen. Stanley Rosenberg (D-Amherst), who had been working against the amendment and is close with Murray, told the News Service, "This is the endgame . . . In case you can't tell, we've gone into radio silence."
Patrick had staked political capital on the vote once before and lost, in January when, in the days after an SJC ruling that lawmakers were bound to vote, 62 lawmakers backed the petition. On Thursday, Patrick's daughter Katherine, who marched with him last Saturday in a gay rights parade in Boston, was among the anti-ban demonstrators.
Walking back into the building after greeting supporters outside, Patrick came across his daughter, joked with her about the signs she was carrying, then pecked her on the cheek before walking toward his office.
In a statement released by his presidential campaign, former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney, who spoke frequently against the amendment while governor, called the vote "a regrettable setback in our efforts to defend traditional marriage. Unfortunately, our elected representatives decided that the voice of the people did not need to be heard in this debate."