Hurricane, Ballot Date for Marriage Amendment Approaches Louisiana

Unless Hurricane Ivan makes a 'catastrophic turn,' Lousiana voters will decide on the Marriage Protection Amendment this Saturday.
( [email protected] ) Sep 16, 2004 04:54 PM EDT

Louisiana voters will vote Saturday on an amendment banning same-sex “marriage” despite the threat of Hurricane Ivan looming near the state.

Hurricane Ivan is expected to either hit east Louisiana or make landfall in the state.

Secretary of State Fox McKeithen said Tuesday the elections will go on unless the storm makes a "catastrophic turn.” Voters from areas where polling places that may be flooded will be directed to vote elsewhere.

However, "assuming the present course, this should not really affect us at all," McKeithen said.

Proponents of the Marriage Protection Amendment expect results from the Sept .18 vote to be similar to Missouri’s 71 percent approval of the measure.

While Louisiana’s Defense of Marriage Act already defines marriage to be between a man and a woman, the initiative, if passed, will write the definition of marriage into the state constitution. The Marriage Protection Amendment would also prevent courts from being forced to recognize same-sex "marriages" and civil unions performed in other states, and it would prohibit granting the benefits of marriage to domestic partnerships.

“Legislators in Louisiana placed this amendment on the ballot after recognizing the need to give the people a voice in this important debate,” said Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, a pro-family group leading the nationwide effort to protect traditional marriage. “Voters should decide the fate of marriage in Louisiana, not unelected activist judges.”

Perkins will be one of the speakers in a broadcasted rally on Sunday urging Christians to voice their support of an amendment protecting marriage between a man and a woman to state representatives.

"Congress must also act to ensure that state constitutional amendments such as Louisiana's are not overturned by unelected judges,” he said.

On Monday, the House of Representatives will begin debate on a proposed Federal Marriage Amendment.

Several other states are scheduled to vote on marriage amendments on Nov. 2.