In November 2008 Elections, Three More American States Ban Same-Sex Marriage

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In November 2008 Elections, Three More American States Ban Same-Sex Marriage Empty In November 2008 Elections, Three More American States Ban Same-Sex Marriage

Post by wardleld on Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:48 am

On November 4, 2008, voters in Arizona, California and Florida passed constitutional amendments to the state constitutions banning same-sex marriage. This raises to thirty (out of fifty) the number of states in which voters have passed such "marriage amendments" defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Since the regulation of family law (including marriage and divorce regulation) is primarily a matter of state law, not national (federal) law in the United States, this means that in more than half of the American states, same-sex marriage is constitutionally prohibited from being created by state legislative, judicial or executive action.

The voting percentages and the text of the state marriage amendments approved in November 2008 are below:

Votes on State Marriage Amendments - 2008

Arizona 56% 44%
California 52.3% 47.7%
Florida* 62% 38%

*60% voter approval was required for proposed amendment to become effective.

Arizona Proposition 102 adds 20 words to the Constitution of Arizona:
“Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state.” (2008)

California Proposition 8 adds 14 words to the California Constitution:
“Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
(The language is identical to the language of statue enacted by 61% of the popular vote as Proposition 22 in 2000) (2008)

Florida Amendment 2 adds 37 words to the Florida Constitution:
"Inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized." (Fla. Sec’y State)(2008)

Globally and in the US there is a strong movement to legalize SSM.

Same-Sex Marriage Legal: Six* Nations and Two USA States: The Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Spain, South Africa,* and Norway (2009) (US: MA & CN [CA-overturned])

Same-Sex Unions Equivalent to Marriage Legal in Thirteen Nations and Six US States: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Slovenia, South Africa*, Andorra, Switzerland, UK, New Zealand (US: CA, CN, NH, NJ, OR, VT) ; and Australian Cap. Terr.

Same-Sex Unions Registry & Some Benefits in Seven Nations and Five US states: Argentina, Columbia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Portugal (US: AK, DC, HI, ME & WA) ; and South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, recent Fed laws.

The following chart plots the trajectory of progress of the movement to legalize same-sex marriage and marriage-equivalent unions (usually called ‘civil unions’ or ‘domestic partnerships’) globally and in the US (in parenthesis):

Global (US) Progress of Same-Sex Marriage, and Marriage Equivalent Unions, 1985-2008
YEAR: Same-Sex Marriage (US) SSM-Equivalent Unions (US)
1985 0 0
1990 0 1
1995 0 3
2000 0 6 (1)
2005 3 (1) 13 (3)
2007 5 (1) 15 (6)
2008-Nov 6(2) 15 (6)

Same-Sex Marriage is explicitly prohibited by written law in 45 states (all states except Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Rhode Island*).

Thirty states have enacted ‘marriage amendments’ to their state constitutions to prohibit same-sex marriage. They are: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, & Wisconsin.

The average vote in favor of state marriages amendments in all of the states combined is 66% (including Nov 2008).

There are three types of state marriage amendments:

Ten SMAs Protect Status of Marriage:
E.g., “To be valid or recognized in this State, a marriage may exist only between one man and one woman.” Alaska Const., Art. I, sec. 25 (1998)
** AZ and CA Amendments are of this type

Nineteen SMAs Protect Substance of Marriage (Forbid Giving Equivalent Substance to DPs or CUs):
E.g., “Marriage consists only of the legal union between a man and a woman. No other domestic union, however denominated, may be recognized as a marriage or given the same or substantially equivalent legal effect.” Utah Const., Art. I, sec. 29 (2004)
**FLORIDA’S AMENDMENT 2 is in this category

One SMA Protects Government Structure (Legislature Can Ban SSM):
“The Legislature shall have the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples.” Haw. Const., Art. I, sec. 23 (1998)

LDWardle, Dec 2008


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