June 28, 2006
For Immediate Release
Lisa Barstow 617-480-1719 | VoteOnMarriage.org
Eric Fehrnstrom 617-725-4025 | Office of Governor Mitt Romney
Gov. Romney Joins Civic and Religious Leaders to Urge Passage of
Protection of Marriage Amendment
Allowing citizens the right to define marriage in Massachusetts
Boston – Appearing today with a broad array of religious, civic and political leaders, Governor Mitt Romney urged the Legislature and its leaders to bring the Amendment to a "fair vote" during the Constitutional Convention on July 12.
Standing today with Governor Romney in support of the Protection of Marriage Amendment, which would allow the voters of the Commonwealth to determine the definition of marriage in Massachusetts, were Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Archdiocese of Boston; Bishop George Coleman, Diocese of Fall River; Bishop Robert McManus, Diocese of Worcester; Dr. Roberto Miranda, Chairman, VoteOnMarriage.org; Kris Mineau, President, Massachusetts Family Institute; and a bi-partisan group of state legislators.
"It is the constitutional duty of every legislator to give the Protection of Marriage Amendment an up or down vote during this legislative session," said Governor Romney. "The people have a right to decide this issue, but they can only do so if the Legislature does its job."
Cardinal Sean O'Malley said, "Marriage is the foundation of family life in our society. People of many faiths and from many walks of life have joined us to support marriage as being only the union between one man and one woman. The debate over the meaning of marriage should not be limited to government officials. The magnitude of the issue calls for full participation by the citizens of the Commonwealth. We urge our legislators to let the people exercise their right to vote."
"Governor Romney has said all along that the people's voice matters, and today he has demonstrated that leadership again by focusing public attention on those in the state legislature who are strategizing to deny Massachusetts citizens the right to vote on marriage," said Kris Mineau, President, Massachusetts Family Institute and Spokesman for VoteOnMarriage.org.
According to media reports, legislative opponents of the Amendment are considering a variety of parliamentary procedures to avoid a clear yes or no vote on the Amendment—constitutionally known as "final action" by the legislature and a requirement for all citizen-initiated petitions, such as the Protection of Marriage Amendment.
"We know that the absence of fathers in our neighborhoods contributes to the culture of violence," said Rev. Alexander Hurt, Kingdom Church-Brockton. "The marriage amendment says to our community, 'both mothers and fathers matter' in the development of healthy families and healthy communities."
"Unelected judges have conjured up their own interpretation of marriage and family," said Rev. Roberto Miranda, Chairman, VoteOnMarriage.org. "This amendment is the only way the people of Massachusetts can determine for themselves how the society they live in and contribute to should define marriage."
VoteOnMarriage.org – the campaign to allow voters to decide on the definition of marriage in Massachusetts – collected over 170,000 petition signatures last fall in support of the Protection of Marriage Amendment. The Secretary of the Commonwealth certified the petitions last December, moving the Amendment to the state legislature where it requires the vote of 50 lawmakers this year and next year before going to the voters in 2008. Governor Romney supports the Protection of Marriage Amendment and the people's right to define marriage and family for themselves.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT:
June 28, 2006 Eric Fehrnstrom
STATEMENT OF GOVERNOR ROMNEY
Governor Mitt Romney made the following statement today regarding the Massachusetts Protection of Marriage Amendment:
"Our elected representatives in the Legislature will soon hold a historic vote. It regards the institution of marriage.
But it will not be a vote for or against same sex marriage.
No, it will be a vote for or against democracy.
The people here today have followed the law, followed the process established in the Constitution, and gathered an astounding 170,000 signatures. Their effort means that the people, the citizens, will be free to choose how marriage is defined in Massachusetts.
This is democracy pure and simple.
Of course, democracy can be squashed. Only one fourth of the legislators must vote for democracy, for this question, this choice, to be given to the people. But it is conceivable that some will try to block a vote by the people by blocking a vote of the legislature.
We here are speaking for democracy and the rule of the law. Whether you agree that marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman or not, surely you can agree that the course of democracy, established by the Constitution, must be followed. Is there anything more fundamental to this Commonwealth and this country than the principle that power is reserved to the people, that government is the servant, not the master?
We ask for one thing: the constitutionally prescribed vote of the Legislature. Let the people speak."