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Anti-gay marriage initiative allowed on ballots in MA, AG says

[JURIST] A proposed ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] in Massachusetts can move forward after state Attorney General Tom Reilly [official profile] ruled [opinion letter, DOC] Wednesday that Article 48 of the state constitution [text] allows voters to overturn court decisions. The ruling to allow the initiative means supporters can move forward in the lengthy process to have the initiative placed on the ballot. Initiatives must obtain 65,825 signatures of voters and 25 percent support of the state legislature in two successive sittings to be certified. Same-sex marriage supporters had urged Reilly, a likely Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 2006, not to certify the initiative, but current governor Mitt Romney [official website] called on Reilly to allow the initiative. The Massachusetts Family Institute [advocacy website] has sponsored the proposed initiative [DOC text], which would amend the state constitution to define marriage as being between a man and a women. The Massachusetts Supreme Court in 2003 legalized same-sex marriages in the state. Read a news release from Reilly's office. AP has more.

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