Connecticut insiders are buzzing about the possible consequences of Friday’s same-sex marriage decision for Question One on the ballot Nov. 4—a call for a state constitutional convention. (See
www.ctconcon.com for more info).
Connecticut, unlike California, has no direct initiative and referendum process. But in a unique feature of the Connecticut process, voters are asked every 20 years whether or not they wish to convene a constitutional convention, which would then have the authority to propose constitutional amendments to voters.
By an accident, or an act of God, the Connecticut court decision imposing same-sex marriagecame down less than three weeks before the once-in-twenty-years chance Connecticut voters have to call for a constitutional convention–this Nov. 4.
Question One asks: “Shall there be a Constitutional Convention to amend or revise the Constitution of the state”?
A broad coalition of groups, including the Federation of Connecticut Taxapyer Organizations, eminent domain groups energized by the Kelo decision, and even some Green Party spokespeople have expressed support for the idea.
In the Sept. 29, Hartford Courant, for example, Mike De Rosa, head of the Green Party in Connecticut, told the newspaper, “We shouldn’t be afraid of democracy.” ”A lot of conservative groups are looking at it from their own ideological paradigm,” De Rosa said. “We see it as an opportunity to free the system, to open it up to more choices and more voices. That’s very frightening to people.”
About 2800 people, according to the Courant, attended a rally in late Sept. to promote a con-con sponsored by the Family Institute of Connecticut, a leading opponent of same-sex marriage in that state. (www.ctfamily.org)
The coalition’s goal in holding a constitutional convention is to bring a direct initiative and referendum process to Connecticut, similar to those in thirty-one other states.
On Friday, after the court ruling, , the Catholic Conference in Connecticut joined the list of groups urging Yes on Question One.
“This decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court also raises a very real concern about the infringement on religious liberty and freedom of speech with the judicial imposition of same-sex marriage,” the Connecticut bishops’ declared, “The real battle in this court case was not about rights, since civil unions provide a vast number of legal rights to same-sex couples, but about conferring and enforcing social acceptance of a particular lifestyle; a lifestyle many people of faith and advocates of the natural law refuse to accept.”
Polls before the same-sex marriage decision indicated a close vote on Question One.
Will Connecticut’s court decision put voters over the top?