Ring The Wedding Bells

Let the wedding bells ring 151 times for gay couples and a courageous commonwealth.

Not only did the Massachusetts Legislature vote 151-45 today to block a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, the 45 votes for the ban represented a resounding drop from the 62 votes for the amendment last session. The measure needed at least 50 of 200 votes in consecutive sessions to make it to the ballot.

That was a dramatic testament to the fact that legislators concluded that neither the so-called sanctity of matrimony nor the moral fiber of the commonwealth crumbled in the three years of gay marriage.

It was a wonderful way to mark this week's 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Loving decision that outlawed Virginia's laws against interracial marriage. In writing for the majority, Chief Justice Earl Warren cited the absurdities of Virginia's past defense of laws meant to ''maintain white supremacy,'' with fears about ''the corruption of blood'' and ''a mongrel breed of citizens.''

Today, the Legislature rejected similar, antiquated notions of straight supremacy.

Derrick Z. Jackson's e-mail address is jackson@globe.com.

(c) Copyright 2007 The Boston Globe

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