A constitutional amendment banning same-sex “marriages” will be added to the Arkanasa November ballot after the Secretary of State’s office verified Thursday that there were enough valid signatures to place the measure before voters.
The Secretary of State’s office counted 95,736 valid signatures, exceeding the 80,570 needed to get the amendment on the ballot. Originally, the Arkansas Marriage Amendment Committee submitted over 200,000 signatures in support of the motion.
The collection of signatures was a great success, said Jerry Cox, president of the Arkansas Marriage Amendment Committee, but the vote is not a sure thing.
Under the amendment, marriage will be defined as between one man and one woman, thereby banning same-sex “marriages” and civil unions. Although Arkansas already passed the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage between one man and one woman, the amendment would protect traditional marriage by raising the definition of marriage to a consitutional level.
Arkansas will join eight other states that will also vote on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex “marriages” this year. Missouri will be the first to vote on the measure on Aug. 3. Lousiana will vote on Sept. 18. Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma and Utah is scheduled to vote on Nov. 2.
Oklahoma and Missouri show promising support for the amendment, according to local polls. For Oklahoma, a statewide poll taken July 8 through July 12 by Consumer Logic for the Tulsa World and KOTV Channel 6 showed 82 percent supported the amendment. Another poll, commissioned by The Kansas City Star and KMBC-TV, found that 62 percent of Missourians would vote in favor of the amendment.
Supporters of traditional marriage are waiting on four more states to complete the petition process to place the amendment banning same-sex “marriage” on the state ballots. In Oregon and Michigan, enough petitions in support of letting voters decide on the issue were collected and are currently being verified by state officials. Petition drives are still under way in Ohio and North Dakota.