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Suit filed to push marriage amendment ahead


Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at the Nov. 19 rally on the Statehouse steps where he announced he would file suit to bypass the Legislature if it did not act on the marriage amendment. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy

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BOSTON -- Gov. Mitt Romney filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Judicial Court Nov. 24 asking the state’s highest court to bypass the Legislature if elected representatives fail to vote on an amendment that would restore the traditional definition of marriage in Massachusetts.

The citizen-initiated amendment, which would limit marriages entered into after its enactment to the union of one man and one woman, needs the support of 25 percent of the Legislature in two consecutive sessions to move forward. On Nov. 9 lawmakers, for a second time, voted to recess their constitutional convention without taking up the measure. They are scheduled to meet again on Jan. 2, the last day of the legislative session.

Among the 10 others joining the governor as plaintiffs in the lawsuit are State Rep. Phillip Travis, D-Rehoboth, former Boston mayor and ambassador to the Vatican Raymond L. Flynn, executive director of the Catholic Action League C.J. Doyle, and chairman of VoteOnMarriage.org Roberto Miranda.

The defendants named were Secretary of State William F. Galvin and Sen. Robert E. Travaglini, presiding officer of the Legislature’s joint session.

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