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WHAT'S NEXT: Gay Marriage in Massachusetts

5/18/2004 - 6:00 AM PST

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MASSACHUSETTS: The Legislature, which in March passed a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would ban gay marriages but legalize Vermont-style civil unions, will again take up the proposed amendment in the 2005-06 session. If approved again, the measure would end up on the ballot in November 2006.

WASHINGTON: Republicans in Congress may seek a vote in the coming months on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage nationwide. To be ratified, the measure would require approval by 37 state legislatures, but first would need backing from two-thirds of both the House and Senate.

THE STATES: At least six states will have items on their ballots this fall proposing to amend their state constitutions to strengthen existing bans on gay marriage and specify that gay marriages from other states would not be recognized. The six states are Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Utah.

THE COURTS: Lawsuits have been filed in several states on behalf of gays seeking the right to marry, and more lawsuits are likely to arise on behalf of couples married in Massachusetts who want their unions recognized elsewhere. In addition, a federal appeals court will hold a hearing in June on the Massachusetts high court ruling legalizing gay marriages. And the case could wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Keywords

Marriage, Homosexual, Gay, Catholic, Life, Family, Same Sex

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