One legislator who voted to adjourn said: "For those of us who believe in an open democratic process, this was not a comfortable vote". Jacques, an opponent of the amendment and a lesbian, said: "I'm proud to have done anything possible to defeat this hate-filled, discriminatory measure.I'll take a victory on this any way I can get it." Arlene Isaacson of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus later explained it was a critical moment because same-sex marriage had no chance of winning a popular vote at the time: "Not that we would lose by a little, because that wasn't an issue.The court said: "We declare that barring an individual from the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage solely because that person would marry a person of the same sex violates the Massachusetts Constitution." It provided a definition of marriage that would meet the state constitution's requirements: "We construe civil marriage to mean the voluntary union of two persons as spouses, to the exclusion of all others." The court stayed its ruling for 180 days to allow the state legislature "take such action as it may deem appropriate in light of this opinion." Governor Mitt Romney said he disagreed with the SJC's decision, but "We obviously have to follow the law as provided by the Supreme Judicial Court, even if we don't agree with it".He said he would work with the legislature to draft a law "consistent" with the ruling.In December 1996, considering the possibility of Hawaii legalizing same-sex marriage, Weld said that Massachusetts would recognize the validity of same-sex marriages licensed there.He called the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. Rogers, a Democrat, proposed legislation to prevent Massachusetts from granting legal recognition to same-sex marriages established elsewhere: "a purported marriage contracted between persons of the same sex shall be neither valid nor recognized in the Commonwealth." In 1999, the Lesbian and Gay Political Alliance of Massachusetts called it a "hate bill" and a coalition of more than 150 religious leaders formed the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry to oppose it.On May 7, 2002, Suffolk County Superior Court Judge Thomas E.
Governor Bill Weld said he would be willing to meet with the group and said he was undecided on the question.
When the constitutional convention met again on July 17, the amendment's opponents knew that proponents had the 50 votes needed for passage.
Birmingham, who was presiding, moved for adjournment without considering the amendment, and his motion passed 137 to 53.
Assistant Attorney General Judith Yogman represented the DPH.
On November 18, 2003, the SJC ruled 4 to 3 that the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.