Unrelenting pressure by Patrick, Murray, DiMasi blamed on Marriage Amendment defeat

Boston - - the campaign to allow the voters to decide on the definition of marriage in Massachusetts - expressed outrage over today's Constitutional Convention vote on the Marriage Amendment citing the unrelenting pressure by Governor Patrick, House Speaker DiMasi and Senate President Therese Murray forcing some lawmakers to switch their positions on the issue during the 11th hour.

"The Marriage Amendment won its first legislative vote and was on track to win its second with a healthy margin. The unprecedented pressure by leaders on Beacon Hill - the rumors of patronage jobs by Governor Patrick and arm-twisting by House Speaker DiMasi - derailed the largest initiative petition drive by citizens in the Commonwealth's history and this is a brutal loss for citizen-centered democracy," said Kris Mineau, president, Massachusetts Family Institute and spokesman,

All three Beacon Hill leaders opposed the people's right to vote on marriage. Allegations of bribery by the Governor and arm twisting by the House Speaker as a means of pressuring legislators to switch their vote have been reported widely in the press in recent weeks.

"The Governor and House Speaker have been unrelenting in fighting the natural course of advancement on the marriage amendment and the people's right to vote," said Mineau. "We will look very closely at the circumstances by which legislators switched their vote for ethics violations or improprieties."

Citizens in 45 states have weighed in on the definition of marriage either through the legislative process or by constitutional amendments. vows to continue the fight for the people of Massachusetts to be heard on this issue.