On the main site, Dan Flynn has a piece looking at Ted Kennedy’s complicated relationship with the Catholic Church. One example might be found in this Bay Windows article crediting Ted Kennedy with denying the people a vote on same-sex marriage in Massachusetts:
Our cause was lining up the votes to defeat an anti-gay constitutional amendment that would strip same-sex couples of the right to marry. A final vote was scheduled for July 14, 2007. Our opponents needed the votes of only 25 percent of the legislature to advance a citizen-led amendment to the ballot. We had lined up two-thirds of the legislature through fieldwork, lobbying, media, literally everything we could think of. But getting those last 15 legislators-those conservative Democrats from working class Massachusetts communities and a few libertarian-leaning Republicans-was very tough. We needed all hands on deck to keep a Massachusetts version of Proposition 8 off the ballot. We needed Ted Kennedy.
“Could you get me a list of your targets?” one of Kennedy’s key staffers finally asked me. “Don’t tell anyone I’m asking you for this,” he said. He meant it, and I didn’t.
A few days later, as I was doing my rounds in the State House, a bewildered conservative legislator stopped me. “You’ll never guess who left me a message about gay marriage,” he said. “Ted Kennedy.” And then I started to hear similar refrains again and again. We’d get word that he’d spoken to the Governor, the Speaker of the House, the Senate President, the chair of the Democratic Party, asking for updates, strategizing, figuring out exactly what he could do and how he could be most helpful.
On July 14, the amendment failed. Now, this article may overstate Kennedy’s role. Over the same period, Mitt Romney was replaced as governor by a supporter of same-sex marriage. House Speaker Tom Finneran had already been succeeded by a same-sex marriage supporter. So when Kennedy was lobbying for one side, there were no comparably big guns being pulled out by the other side. Except for Senator Kennedy’s Catholic Church, in the form of the Archdiocese of Boston.
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