Every 20 years, the question of whether to hold a convention to amend the constitution goes before Connecticut voters. A new group has formed to oppose that ballot question and will rally at the Capitol this weekend.
The question of how far constitutional protections extend is often at the heart of debates about civil rights. The new Connecticut Civil Rights Defense Coalition is joining the effort against opening up the Constitution's text for public debate.
The group includes a number of gay and lesbian, abortion rights, and religious organizations. Frank O'Gorman is the director of People of Faith of Connecticut. He worries about the efforts to use a constitutional convention to authorize voter referendums.
"The framers of our constitution realized that direct democracy would lead inevitably to attacks on minority rights."
Matthew Daly takes issue with that characterization. He leads the Connecticut Constitutional Convention Campaign. He says ballot initiatives open up government to groups that are typically shut out of the process.
"Why not have the option for citizens to petition the government on a number of issues. What are these groups afraid of in this kind of state which leans left, especially on social issues?"
Daly says his campaign is policy neutral, though the cause has attracted the support of partisan groups. One of those groups, the Family Institute of Connecticut, will also be gathering on Sunday afternoon. It is holding a Defense of Marriage rally on the Capitol steps.