Thank you for voting on Jan 2, 2007 during the Constitutional Convention. On that day I was returning from Ukraine and unable to attend. This was a special trip; I became engaged to marry a wonderful Ukrainian woman, Angela. Pictures of my trips to Ukraine may be seen at www.as4us.org.
Attached to this handout are the first 4 pages of 9 pages of information I have prepared for all 540 offices of the United States Congress. I will be visiting Washington DC the last week of May to deliver them to the Senate and House offices. This will be my 3rd trip to lobby the U.S. Congress the two previous trips were with other ex-gays as part of “National Ex-Gay Lobby Days.”
An attempt is being made by some advocates of same-sex marriage to draw a comparison to action taken by the Legislature on another proposed amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution during the Jan. 2, 2007 Constitutional Convention. The action was to send to committee for study a proposed Constitutional amendment to mandate universal health coverage in Massachusetts. Likewise those advocating for same-sex marriage call for similar action and thus not allow for a second vote on the proposed Constitutional amendment to maintain the status quo that marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman. It must be remembered that universal health coverage is required in Massachusetts by state law. The legislature passed a bill that was signed into law by Governor Romney. So to perhaps make such a comparison and action with same-sex marriage, a bill may be passed by the legislature and signed into law by the governor to allow same-sex marriage. The proposed marriage amendment requiring a second vote of the Massachusetts Legislature is the 3rd amendment taken up by the Legislature. Of the 3 it is the 2nd one that is a Citizen’s Initiative Petition. This proposed Constitutional Amendment as a Citizen’s Initiative Petition received more citizens’ signatures, over 160,000, than any previous Citizen’s Initiative Petition in Massachusetts.
The current proposed amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution to maintain the status quo that marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman requires a second successful vote in a Constitutional Convention to allow the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to vote and participant in the governing of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Likewise this proposed amendment has past constitutional, judicial, and legal scrutiny in two legal challenges to it that have reached the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. The first ruling was that the amendment is“going forward” and thereby is not an attempt overturn a previous SJC ruling in the 2003 Goodridge case. In a side note of possible interest, the lead plaintiff couple Hilary and Julie Goodridge, in the legal challenge to allow same-couple to marry married in May of 1974 and separated in July of 2006. The second ruling addressed the responsibility of the Massachusetts Legislature to vote on proposed Constitutional Amendments. The SJC ruled they had no authority to demand the Legislature to take a vote. But in strongly worded language encouraged the Massachusetts State Legislature to uphold their oath of office to support the Constitution of Massachusetts and exercise the authority delegated to them in the Massachusetts Constitution to regulate marriage by voting on the proposed marriage amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution. The Legislature followed the advice of the SJC by taking a vote on January 2, 2007, a vote of approval, thus requiring a second vote.
In early spring of 2006 Chief Justice Marshall received an award from Harvard University and gave a speech titled “Judiciary for All”. I attended the speech on the Harvard University campus and was able to take part in the Question and Answer session that followed. I was the second person to ask a question. I prefaced my remarks with an apology. The first one to ask a question was a lawyer, and Chief Justice Marshal in answering his question commented that she was uncomfortable when presented with new ideas that she previously had not thought about. So I apologized for being someone new, a type of person she may not have met before. I said, “my name is Larry Houston, I am a member of the Harvard University community, I cook in the freshman dining hall and I self-identify as a former homosexual. After an article written by a Harvard student about me appeared in the Harvard Crimson Newspaper I faced discrimination and the possible loss of my job at Harvard University. I came under investigation by three departments of Harvard University and during these investigations no Harvard University official contacted me.” I also talked of former homosexuals, ex-gays, and former lesbians being in a similar position to that of gays and lesbians almost 40 years ago. That is the identity as an ex-gay is gaining greater societal approval as a sexual identity.
The following quotes are from an article in Bay Windows, New England’s largest newspaper serving the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities, “Could It Happen Here” by Ethan Jacobs.
“No amount of money can solve the problem: in at least 11 states that voted on marriage amendments since 2004 the pro-gay side outspent its opponents, but only one of those states, Arizona, voted down the amendment. In Wisconsin, a state that many observers thought could feasibly defeat its amendment in 2006, pro-gay forces outspent their opponents by a nearly 4-to-1 margin, but the amendment still passed 59 percent to 41 percent.”
“LGBT advocates in Colorado last year spent $5.4 million to try to defeat the DOMA amendment and pass the domestic partner bill, according to campaign finance records. By contrast their opponents spent only $1.4 million.”
“In 2006, Fair Wisconsin spent $4.3 million to try to defeat that state marriage amendment, far outpacing the $670,000 campaign waged by Focus on the Family and its allies on the other side.”
Kevun Naff managing editor of the gay newspaper, Washington Blade online wrote an editorial on Wednesday March 23, 2007, “Bloggers vs HRC.” It was written in this editorial that MassEquality has already received 1 million dollars from the HRC. HRC is the Human Rights Campaign, a large national gay and lesbian rights organization that owns their 26 million dollar Washington DC headquarters. So comments by advocates of same-sex marriage of an expensive campaign to amend the Massachusetts Constitution may certainly have some truth in them. But the history of previous similar campaigns shows who will most likely spend the largest amount of money.
If there is so much support for same-sex marriage in the Massachusetts Legislature why hasn’t a same-sex marriage bill successfully passed through the legislative process and been enacted into state law. Doing so the legislature will uphold their oath of office and exercise the authority granted to the Legislature by the Massachusetts Constitution to regulate marriage.