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ADF Attorneys File Lawsuit to Hold Mass. Lawmakers Accountable for Illegal Actions

Lawsuit states that legislators have acted illegally by refusing to act on allowing commonwealth citizens to vote on marriage amendment


Contact: ADF Media Relations, 480-444-0020; www.telladf.org; www.domawatch.org


WORCESTER, Mass., Dec. 13 /Christian Newswire/ -- Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed a federal lawsuit today arguing that members of the Massachusetts Legislature have acted illegally by ignoring their constitutional duty to vote on a proposed marriage amendment to be placed before the commonwealth's voters.


"Elected officials should be held accountable when they deliberately violate the law," said ADF Senior Counsel Glen Lavy.  "We're in big trouble if the individuals who have sworn to uphold the Constitution can willfully ignore it with impunity once in office.  Holding elected office does not mean you're above the law."


In July 2006, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman could be placed on the 2008 ballot.  The Massachusetts Constitution states the Legislature has a duty to vote on whether the process for placing the amendment on the ballot can proceed.  Five months later, the Legislature has yet to take action.


"If they don't do their job, we're asking the court to hold them personally liable.  These legislators will face no liability if they vote on the amendment," said Lavy.  "But it appears that the Legislature is only going to stop their illegal activities when they understand they'll be held accountable for those activities.  That's why we have filed this lawsuit--to ensure that the legislators are held personally accountable to Massachusetts voters."


ADF attorneys filed the lawsuit on behalf of Massachusetts voters in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Central Division.  A copy of the complaint in VoteOnMarriage v. Dimasi can be read at www.telladf.org/UserDocs/VOMcomplaint.pdf.


ADF is a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation.