Tags: State | Legislators | Push | for | Marriage | Amendments

State Legislators Push for Marriage Amendments

Friday, 27 February 2004 12:00 AM

A report by the New York Times reveals that the battle has erupted in state legislatures nationwide, with some conservative lawmakers demanding a stronger response to the issue than the president’s proposed amendment, which they say does not go far enough and would take far too long to enact.

Amending the United States Constitution, they say, is difficult and can take years, requiring as it does the approval of Congress and 38 state legislatures.

Instead, conservative lawmakers want individual amendments to buttress state laws, which can take as little as a year to be enacted.

Thus far just four states have enacted amendments concerning same-sex marriage, but the Times reports that nearly two dozen states are considering adding prohibitions to their state constitutions.

Such a method would make statewide constitutional changes more likely to withstand legal challenges than mere laws. The Times suggests that in Michigan, Georgia and several other states, such amendments could appear on ballots as early as this November.

"The Georgia law is clear on banning gay marriage," said Mike Crotts, a Republican state senator who has sponsored an amendment in Georgia. "My bill is focused on activist judges who don't rule from the bench based on the law, but based on their personal views or opinions. We're seeing more and more of that throughout the country."

The Times reported that:

"These are among the most human and emotional issues to same-sex couples because we are denied marriage rights," said Dan Furmansky, executive director of Equality Maryland, a gay rights group.

Same-sex marriages have now spread from San Francisco and rural New Mexico to New York.

In New Paltz, 26-year-old Mayor Jason West, a member of the Green Party, presided over the illegal weddings of 21 gay couples.

The state Health Department asked Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to seek an injunction "to prevent further illegal conduct by the mayor," said spokesman William Van Slyke.

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A report by the New York Times reveals that the battle has erupted in state legislatures nationwide, with some conservative lawmakers demanding a stronger response to the issue than the president's proposed amendment, which they say does not go far enough and would take far...
State,Legislators,Push,for,Marriage,Amendments
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2004-00-27
Friday, 27 February 2004 12:00 AM
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