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Romney asks court to put same-sex marriage ban on Massachusetts ballot

[JURIST] Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney [official website] Friday filed a request with the state's Supreme Judicial Court [JURIST report] to put a measure effectively banning same-sex marriage [text, DOC] on the 2008 Massachusetts ballot if legislators fail to vote on the issue before the end of their term on January 2. Romney took the anticipated action [JURIST report] after state lawmakers voted 109-87 to recess an ongoing joint House-Senate session until that day. Opponents of the measure to define marriage as only between a man and a woman say they may not have the votes to block it, amounting to 151 of the 200 session members. Fifty members can approve the measure. AP has more.

Massachusetts [JURIST news archive] is currently the only US state to recognize same-sex marriage, after a November 2003 state high court ruling [JURIST report; background materials]. More than 8,000 same-sex couples have subsequently wed in the state, and the precedent has sparked a nationwide debate over gay marriage.

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