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Ark. Supreme Court OKs marriage amendment vote

LITTLE ROCK (BP)–The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled Oct. 7 that a constitutional marriage amendment can remain on the ballot, despite objections from the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ruling means that Arkansas citizens will vote Nov. 2 on an amendment that bans both same-sex “marriage” and Vermont-type civil unions.

The ACLU had argued that the ballot title — the language included on the ballot itself — is misleading and does not disclose the fact that it bans more than same-sex “marriage.”

But in a 5-2 vote, the court disagreed.

The amendment made it on the ballot when the Arkansas Marriage Amendment Committee submitted 200,000 signatures to the secretary of state’s office this summer — more than double the 80,000 signatures required.

The case in Arkansas is but the latest in a nationwide trend. Having lost every statewide election concerning same-sex “marriage,” homosexual activists have filed lawsuits in several states, seeking to take marriage amendments off the ballot. They failed to keep amendments off the ballot in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Oregon. A case is still pending in Georgia. As many as 11 states could have marriage amendments on the ballot Nov. 2.

Two states already have passed such amendments. Missouri voters passed a marriage amendment with 71 percent of the vote in August, while Louisiana voters passed one with 78 percent of the vote in September.

But the Louisiana amendment was tossed out Oct. 5 by a Louisiana judge who ruled that it was unconstitutional because it dealt with two separate issues — same-sex “marriage” and Vermont-type civil unions. The ruling is being appealed.

Louisiana law provides a small window of opportunity for constitutional amendments to be challenged after they pass. However, once the amendment is enshrined in the constitution, courts can do nothing.

State marriage amendments tie the hands of state courts, preventing Massachusetts-type rulings legalizing same-sex “marriage.” But they can be overturned in federal courts, where Nebraska’s marriage amendment is being challenged. For that reason, pro-family groups are supporting a marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
For more information about the national debate over same-sex “marriage,” visit http://www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage

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