Following is the text of the compromise amendment sponsored by House Speaker Thomas M. Finneran and Senate President Robert E. Travaglini.
It being the public policy of this Commonwealth to protect the unique relationship of marriage, only the union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Massachusetts.
Two persons of the same sex shall have the right to form a civil union if they meet the requirements set forth by law for marriage.
Civil unions for same sex couples are established hereunder and shall provide entirely the same benefits, protections, rights, and responsibilities that are afforded to couples married under Massachusetts law. All laws applicable to marriage shall also apply to civil unions.
This Article is self-executing, but the General Court may enact laws not inconsistent with anything herein contained to carry out the purpose of this Article.