Christine Stuart photo

Following a press conference at the West Hartford Senior Center, Gov. M. Jodi Rell clarified her position on whether the state should hold a Constitutional Convention.

Rell said Tuesday she supports a Constitutional Convention, in addition to initiative and referendum, which is one of the primary goals for many groups in favor of the convention.

“I believe that people should have the right to petition their government,” she said.

However, she said there has to be some type of oversight over how questions would get on the ballot and what type of questions are asked. That’s if, of course, a convention is approved and the convention delegates decide to amend the constitution to include initiative and referendum.

Just back from visiting her daughter in Colorado where there are several ballot questions in November, Rell said there has to be some kind of mechanism in place that doesn’t allow for “frivolous questions or questions that are simply emotional in nature to always be on the ballot.”

So would she support a question about banning same-sex marriage?

“I would not stop that as a question on there. I simply don’t support it,” Rell said Tuesday. “I don’t think we want to change our constitution to ban same-sex marriage.”

Even though she believes marriage is the union of a man and a woman, Rell said she doesn’t think there would be enough support to overturn the court’s ruling if the question ever received a statewide vote.

Friday following the Supreme Court’s ruling which made Connecticut the third state in the nation to allow same-sex marriage, Rell said, “I am also firmly convinced that attempts to reverse this decision – either legislatively or by amending the state Constitution – will not meet with success. I will therefore abide by the ruling.”

The question about whether the state should hold a Constitutional Convention appears on the ballot every 20 years. If voters decide in favor of a convention the legislature will appoint delegates to a convention. At the convention the delegates will debate amending the constitution. Many groups on both the left and the right of the political spectrum have said they would like to see initiative and referendum added to the constitution so voters could petition and vote on public policy issues, like taxation, eminent domain, or banning same-sex marriage.