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Group Won't File Papers for Gay Marriage Ban

The group behind a failed attempt to have Massachusetts citizens to vote on banning gay marriage in the state said it will not file the necessary paperwork to try to put the issue on the 2010 ballot.

Voteonmarriage.org pushed for a constitutional amendment question to ban gay marriage on the next statewide election, but state lawmakers voted last month to block its advancement to the 2008 ballot.

"By no means does this mean that we're giving up on the marriage amendment," Voteonmarriage.org president Kris Mineau said. "Voteonmarriage will stay in business and we will continue to work so that people can have the opportunity to vote on this issue."

Mineau said it wouldn't be practical to file the paperwork so soon after state lawmakers voted it down.

"To put this through the legislature less than a year after the vote of June 14 is just not realistic," Mineau said. "We've realized that we can't get it through this current legislature, so we're looking forward to working with a new legislature after 2008."

The gay rights advocacy group MassEquality said in a statement that the decision reiterated the strong support for marriage equality in Massachusetts.

"Today's announcement demonstrates that even the strongest opponents of marriage equality know support for their position is weak and dwindling," the group wrote. "We hope that with this announcement we can all move on to the pressing issues — like education and healthcare — facing us every day."

Mineau said that his group will realign its focus so that citizens know where their legislators stand on issues like gay marriage.

"We'll make every effort so that the citizens of the commonwealth know where the legislators stand, not only on the definition of marriage but on a myriad of family issues that this legislature opposes."

Now, the earliest a constitutional amendment on gay marriage could reach the electorate is in 2012.

This program aired on July 23, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.

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