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Text of gay marriage ban amendment proposed by joint leadership

The following is the text of a proposed constitutional amendment, developed jointly by leaders of the House and Senate, which would ban gay marriage and establish civil unions:

 

This article shall ensure that the people, not the courts, define the unique relationship of marriage.

It being the public policy of this commonwealth to protect the unique relationship of marriage, only the union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Massachusetts. Two persons of the same sex shall have the right to form a civil union, if they meet the requirements set forth by law for marriage between a man and a woman.

Civil unions for same sex couples are established hereunder and shall provide entirely the same benefits, protections, rights and responsibilities that are afforded to couples married under Massachusetts law. All laws applicable to marriage shall also apply to civil unions.

This article is self-executing, but the General Court may enact laws not inconsistent with anything herein contained to carry out the purpose of this article.

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