Boston, Mass., Jun 16, 2004 / 22:00 pm
The Massachusetts Catholic Conference sent letters to the state’s 710 parishes, urging Catholics to “share their profound disappointment” with lawmakers who did not vote to ban same-sex marriage earlier this year and to offer praise to those who did, reported the Boston Globe June 15.
The mailings by the Massachusetts Catholic Conference included a scorecard, assessing lawmakers based on the votes they cast during the Constitutional Convention in February and March. However, the mailings did not endorse particular lawmakers.
The Massachusetts Legislature voted in March to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2006, which would ban same-sex marriage and establish civil unions for same-sex couples. However, homosexuals began marrying legally in the state May 17, after efforts to overturn a November ruling by the Supreme Judicial Court were not successful.
The Massachusetts Catholic Conference has been criticized for issuing the letters only months before the November election. But Daniel Avila, the organization’s associate director for policy and research, says the mailing has nothing to do with the elections. Rather, it was sent at the end of the debate in Massachusetts, he said.