The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

Colorado Joins States Voting on Marriage – Will Illinois Be Next?

Posted by thelamp on August 23, 2006

 Colorado last week became the seventh state to qualify an amendment for the Nov. 7 ballot to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

The issue will appear on Colorado’s ballot as Amendment 43. Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin already had marriage amendments slated to appear on their respective fall ballots.

Organizers for the Colorado amendment gathered 130,000 signatures, nearly double what was needed to qualify for the ballot. More than 400 churches were enlisted to gather signatures.

“I’m pleased that Colorado voters will have the chance to affirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” said Pastor Rod Parsley, founder and president of the Center for Moral Clarity. “Every time voters have had the chance to affirm God’s design for marriage, they have done so – 20 times out of 20. This fall, I’m sure the total will rise to 27 out of 27. I’m hopeful that this will send a powerful message to our federal legislators of the need and desire among the grassroots for a federal Marriage Protection Amendment.”

Meanwhile, marriage advocates in Illinois are pursuing a court challenge that could add that state to the list of those taking the marriage issues to the voters in November. The state board of elections ruled Aug. 11 that the referendum could not appear because a random sampling of the signatures submitted estimated that 91 percent of them were valid. Under state rules, 95 percent of the signatures submitted must be valid for the issue to qualify for the ballot. A federal district court judge has already affirmed the board’s decision, but the amendment’s sponsors, Protect Marriage Illinois, have appealed to the Seventh Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. Protect Marriage Illinois claims that the state’s process for putting issues on the ballot constitutes an unconstitutional hardship on the people’s right to petition their government.

Illinois’ issue differs from other state amendments because it is a non-binding resolution, existing to express the sense of the state’s population on the marriage issue. An affirmative vote on the issue in Illinois, itself, would not change the state’s constitution.

As in many states, political leaders of both parties appear eager for the court challenge to fail. Both Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is seeking re-election this fall, and his Republican challenger, state treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, have expressed opposition to a marriage amendment for Illinois. Each candidate claims that a 1996 state law prohibiting same-sex marriage is sufficient for the state.

Here are websites for groups supporting this fall’s state marriage amendments. Click on them to learn more about the issue in your state, and to get involved in the effort to protect marriage!

Thanks for making a difference on this vital issue!



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