Pro-Gay Candidates Win in Mass. Primaries

MassEquality, the group formed to preserve the right to marry for gay couples in Massachusetts reports that “every pro-equality incumbent who faced a challenge” in Tuesday’s primaries “emerged victorious.” And the pro-equality forces are closer to picking up at least three votes in the Legislature.

This year, the House of Representatives and Senate voted together in a constitutional convention and narrowly approved a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage while mandating civil unions. That amendment must be approved again in the next legislative session and ratified by the voters in 2006.

In the Somerville-Medford district Democratic primary, Carl Sciortino, who supports same-sex marriage, defeated Rep. Vinny Ciampa, who voted in favor of the constitutional amendment. In a similar race, Steve Canessa, also in favor of marriage rights for gay couples, defeated Rep. Mark Howland in the Democratic primary for Freetown, Lakeville, Middleborough, New Bedford, and Taunton. There are no Republicans competing for these seats, so the Democratic seats are guaranteed.

In an open seat, John Keenan won the primary for the seat of Rep. Michael Ruane, who opposes marriage equality for same-sex couples. Keenan will face Republican David Summer in November after a race in which Keenan’s support for same-sex marriage might figure.

Tom Sannicandro won the Democratic primary for the Ashland-Framingham House seat vacated by Karen Spilka, also in favor of marriage equality, who herself won the nomination for a Senate seat.

MassEquality is looking to raise $100,000 by October 1 to defend their allies in the November election. For more information, go to

Andy Humm

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