ATLANTA (BP)–Homosexual activists asked the Georgia Supreme Court Oct. 19 to remove a constitutional marriage amendment from the November ballot, arguing it violates the state Constitution.
Justices asked tough questions about the amendment but did not indicate when they would rule, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The amendment would protect the traditional definition of marriage by banning both same-sex “marriage” and civil unions. Lawyers for Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union assert that the amendment unconstitutionally focuses on more than two issues. They also say that the ballot language — the exact wording that voters will read — fails to disclose that the amendment would ban more than same-sex “marriage.”
Barring a court action Georgia will be one of 11 states to vote on marriage amendments Nov. 2. Homosexual activists have filed suit in several states, seeking to keep the amendments off the ballot. They have failed in lawsuits in Arkansas and Oklahoma.
The Georgia legislature placed the amendment on the ballot.
Two states already have passed such amendments this year. 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