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MARRIAGE DIGEST: 7 more states considering amendments

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Galvanized by results on Election Day — when all 11 bans on same-sex “marriage” passed — legislators and pro-family groups in at least seven additional states say they will push for constitutional marriage amendments in the coming months.

Conservatives and traditionalists in Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia say they will work for passage of an amendment in their respective state in the coming year.

Three additional states — Massachusetts, Tennessee and Wisconsin — passed amendments in the last legislative session and must pass them once more before sending them to voters.

Most of the new amendments would go on the ballot in 2006, although at least one — Kansas’ — could see a vote as soon as 2005.

Already, more than one-third of the states (17) have marriage amendments. By 2006, that number could top 25 — half of the states.

Marriage amendments to state constitutions provide protection against state courts, preventing Massachusetts-type rulings legalizing same-sex “marriage.” The amendments, though, are vulnerable in federal court; so pro-family groups are pushing for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Amendments in Nebraska and Oklahoma are being challenge in federal court.

Terry Fox, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Wichita, Kan., is helping spearhead the push for an amendment in Kansas.

“We failed to get it done in Topeka in the last session, but we think we can get it done now,” Fox told The Wichita Eagle.

Earlier this year the Kansas House passed a marriage amendment, only to see it fail in the Senate. Two months later, the opposite occurred — it passed the Senate but failed in the House. The surprising turn of events — blamed on politics — left Fox and others promising to work to defeat amendment opponents at the ballot.

On Election Day, Republicans maintained control in both chambers and picked up three seats in the House. All total, four senators and three House members lost, according to the Associated Press.

The results bode well for pro-family issues, including the marriage amendment, Fox said.

“I have to admit I was pleased,” he said.

Although 13 states have voted on marriage amendments this year, legislators in several states — such as Alabama, Idaho and Arizona — failed in their efforts to place amendments on the ballot. This time, amendments supporters in those states, and several others, believe momentum is in their corner.

“The nation has sent a clear message,” Idaho state Sen. Jerry Sweet said at a pro-amendment news conference, according to AP. “We felt this was the time to carry that momentum forward.”

Last November Massachusetts’ high court issued a ruling legalizing same-sex “marriage.” It took effect in May.

GEORGIA LAWSUIT — Homosexual activists filed a lawsuit in Georgia Nov. 9 seeking to toss out a marriage amendment that passed overwhelming Nov. 2. Georgia law gives opponents a brief opportunity to challenge an amendment before it officially becomes part of the state Constitution. The amendment passed, 77-23 percent.

Two groups — Lambda Legal and the Georgia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union — assert that the amendment violates the state Constitution because it deals with two issues (same-sex “marriage” and civil unions). Lambda Legal is a homosexual activist legal organization.

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, a Republican, is a defendant.

“The governor recognizes that 80 percent of Georgians voted yes for this amendment, and he has an obligation to defend it,” Loretta Lepore, a Perdue spokeswoman, told AP.

MORAL VALUES AND BUSH — Karl Rove, President Bush’s chief political adviser, told “Fox News Sunday” Nov. 7 that Bush “absolutely” will push for a marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution during his second term.

“We cannot allow activist local elected officials to thumb their nose at 5,000 years of human history and determine that marriage is something else,” Rove said on the program, according to The Washington Times.

“If we want to have a hopeful and decent society, we ought to aim for the ideal, and the ideal is that marriage ought to be, and should be, a union of a man and a woman.”
For more information about the national debate over same-sex “marriage,” visit http://www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage

    About the Author

  • Michael Foust