Texas, California and Maine Battled on Controversial Rights Issues at the Ballots

Texas approved the marriage amendment on Tuesday. However, proposition for parental notification on abortion in California lost and Maine defeated a proposal to overturn its new gay rights law.
( [email protected] ) Nov 10, 2005 02:28 AM EST

Texas approved the marriage amendment overwhelmingly on Tuesday, making it the 19th state to officially define traditional marriage in its constitution. However, a proposition in California that seeks parental notification on abortion failed and Maine kept a strong legal hold at the ballot on the recently passed gay rights law.

Proposition 2, which places a constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between one man and one woman, was passed by a margin of 76 to 24 percent in Texas. The amendment bans homosexual marriages and Vermont-style civil unions.

Although faced with heavy opposition from liberal groups, the amendment found its way to a landslide approval at the polls. Until now, no marriage amendment has been defeated in any states.

Save Texas Marriage, a group that had actively opposed the amendment, said that the amendment would invalidate all marriages in the state. However, the state attorney general has called the comment "wholly without merit."

The amendment prevents the Texas state court from possibly overturning the ban on homosexual marriages, similar to the incident that happened in Massachusetts where its court stuck down a state law to legalize gay marriage.

Proposition 73, which calls for parental notification from doctors before performing an abortion in California, was a close but lost cause in the end. The vote reflected a split between the opinions of urban and rural residents. Most of those who lived on the coast and in cities opposed the proposition, while those who lived in the middle and eastern part of the state supported it.

Several conservative groups such as the California Family Council expressed the likelihood for the proposal to be placed in the polls again in the near future.

In Maine, a proposal that seeks to overturn a new "sexual orientation" law was defeated. The proposal, known as the "people's veto," lost by a margin of 55 to 45 percent. This is the third time that a similar law was rejected by the voters in the state.