MassResistence Update Sen. Ted Kennedy was the secret critical force in the background that caused the Massachusetts Legislature to deny the people the right to vote on the Marriage Amendment, it was revealed this week.
Less than 48 hours after Kennedy's passing, the homosexual newspaper Bay Windows published an article by Marc Solomon, who at that time ran MassEquality, the main homosexual lobby group trying to stop the amendment.
Ted Kennedy personally pressured enough conservative Democrats (and even "libertarian-leaning" Republicans) who the homosexual lobby was targeting, to change their votes on that the measure to allow a public vote would be defeated. Kennedy also worked on the overall strategy to defeat it. Without Kennedy's involvement, it would likely not have been defeated the Legislature -- and the people would have been able to vote.
Here's what Solomon told Bay Windows:
Our cause was lining up the votes to defeat an anti-gay constitutional amendment that would strip same-sex couples of the right to marry. A final vote was scheduled for July 14, 2007. Our opponents needed the votes of only 25 percent of the legislature to advance a citizen-led amendment to the ballot. We had lined up two-thirds of the legislature through fieldwork, lobbying, media, literally everything we could think of. But getting those last 15 legislators-those conservative Democrats from working class Massachusetts communities and a few libertarian-leaning Republicans-was very tough. We needed all hands on deck to keep a Massachusetts version of Proposition 8 off the ballot. We needed Ted Kennedy.
"Could you get me a list of your targets?" one of Kennedy's key staffers finally asked me. "Don't tell anyone I'm asking you for this," he said. He meant it, and I didn't.
A few days later, as I was doing my rounds in the State House, a bewildered conservative legislator stopped me. "You'll never guess who left me a message about gay marriage," he said. "Ted Kennedy." And then I started to hear similar refrains again and again. We'd get word that he'd spoken to the Governor, the Speaker of the House, the Senate President, the chair of the Democratic Party, asking for updates, strategizing, figuring out exactly what he could do and how he could be most helpful.
In the end, on that July 14, we won. We won what many thought was an impossible victory, by a vote of 151 - 45, keeping our opponents just below the 25 percent threshold. We shocked our opponents. They were sure they had the votes. Just the kind of come-from-behind, unexpected victory for the little guy that Kennedy relished so much.
Later that day, after rallies, celebrations, and parties, I sat down at my desk and listened to voice messages of congratulations, one after the next. One moved me to my core.
"Marc, Ted Kennedy calling from Washington, DC. Congratulations on what you did today. What you accomplished for the people of Massachusetts is tremendous. Good work, my friend