11 States to Decide on Marriage Amendments

Eleven states will vote on a constitutional definition of marriage between one man and one woman.
( [email protected] ) Nov 02, 2004 06:52 PM EST

Along with deciding the future direction of the nation, voters in eleven states will decide on the future of marriage by casting ballots on a constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

The election date comes months after the Senate denied vote on a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage, dubbed the “Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA).” The House version of the amendment, called the “Marriage Protection Amendment (MPA),” also failed to pass.

States which will decide on a constitutional amendment upholding traditional marriage are: Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Utah.

The amendments will create state laws banning any type of marriage other than that between two heterosexuals.

Although 37 states have already passed the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage between a man and a woman and prohibits states from recognizing same-sex marriages sanctioned in other states, supporters of the ballot referendums want to protect the marriage laws from legal challenge.

"As long as we have activist judges, laws are not enough," Phil Burress, chairman of the Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage, told the Baptist Press. "We need to change constitutions. We need to restrict the power of judges."

The founder of the nation’s largest grassroots pro-family organization said the FMA is the only way to ensure marriage is protected.

"Some federal judge will rule all marriage laws in all 50 states illegal if we do not have a Federal Marriage Amendment,” said Don Wildemon, founder of American Family Association, in a report on Agape Press. “That is the only thing that will protect us against the judicial system."

Missouri was the first state to approve a marriage amendment in August. On Sept. 18, over 78% of Louisiana voters approved a similar amendment. However, in early Oct., District Judge William Morvant struck down the measure.

Four states already have passed similar initiatives that also ban non-traditional forms of marriage including same-sex unions.