State Representative Richard Ross, a Wrentham Republican, says he voted against a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage today because it was "the right thing" to do.
Ross, who in January voted in favor of putting the ban to a popular vote, was one of a handful of legislators to switch their votes.
The proposal, which needed to pass in a constitutional convention of the legislature with 50 votes in two consecutive sessions, garnered 62 votes in January but failed with only 45 votes today. As a result, the ban won't appear on the 2008 ballot.
Ross said he came to his decision over the past few days, when he realized that sending the ban to voters would cause gay families in his district to "be put back under a microscope."
"We were going to subject them to a period of hate and vitriol and dragging everything up all over again," Ross said. "It wouldn't be good for them, and it wouldn't be good for the commonwealth."
Ross apologized to "faith communities" who were counting on him to vote for the ban, but he said he ultimately voted his conscience.
"I have become convinced in my heart in the last few days that [putting the ban to a vote] is absolutely the wrong way to go," he said.
- Calvin Hennick
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