Lesbians Sentenced in Controversial West Village Assault

African American lesbians convicted of assault last year sentenced to prison

More than three years of struggle to secure marriage equality in Massachusetts came to an ecstatic conclusion for advocates on June 14, when legislators defeated a proposed constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage in the state as a union between a man and a woman.

The proposed ban garnered only 45 votes, five short of what it needed to qualify for the 2008 statewide ballot and 17 fewer than it garnered when it first appeared in the legislature less than six months ago.

Efforts to put same-sex marriage on the ballot for voters to decide have been underway by opponents ever since the state’s highest court ruled in 2003 that it was unconstitutional to bar gay and lesbian couples from marrying. The amendment would not have affected the nearly 10,000 same-sex marriages that have already taken place in Massachusetts.