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Massachusetts gay marriage opponents move closer to ballot initiative

[JURIST] Supporters of a ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] in Massachusetts delivered 170,000 signatures to the secretary of state Wednesday, moving them one step closer to putting the initiative on the ballot in 2008. The drive, headed by the Massachusetts Family Institute [advocacy website] and other conservatives, resulted in 147,000 certified signatures, with only 65,825 needed to qualify the initiative. The initiative must now gain the support of 50 of the 200 state legislators in successive legislative sessions before being approved for the ballot. The state legislature in September rejected a constitutional amendment [JURIST report] that would have replaced same-sex marriage with civil unions, although a majority vote was needed for that amendment to succeed. AP has more.

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