Citizens may vote on gay marriage ban - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Citizens may vote on gay marriage ban

February 18, 2004

Atlanta-- A resolution to ban gay marriages is on its way to the state house for a vote. The bill passed the senate yesterday. Same-sex marriages are already illegal in Georgia.

 Gay and lesbian couples continue to wait in long lines in San Francisco to get married. State lawmakers are working towards making sure this doesn't become a scene outside any Georgia courthouse. Since a law banning gay marriages has been overturned in Massachusetts, lawmakers want to make the Georgia ban part of the state constitution.

Republican Party Member Gary Smith: "There's now concern that in the state of Georgia, where we do have a law, that it may be ruled unconstitutional or that the state of Georgia may have to accept the rules and the laws made in other states."

Critics say the Georgia resolution is an anti-gay effort by the Senate's Republican majority to pander to conservative voters during an election year, and even get them to the polls.

Smith says, "Everybody wants people to vote, but if you're not going out to vote for your president, I doubt it's going to make you go out and vote either way." Regardless of your views on homosexuality, some say voters need to examine the issue based on what would be best for Georgia.

 Albany State University professor Dr. Joshua Murfree: "We may look at it from a political stand point, we may look at it from a Christianity stand point, biblical, we may look at it from the stand point of psychological, emotional in terms of stability. So you have to look at it from more than one side and being that we're in the bible belt, those things must be considered."

 If the state house does pass the resolution, voters will get to make the final decision at the polls in November. A second San Francisco judge has delayed taking any action on whether to block same-sex weddings.

posted at 9:40AM by dave.miller@walb.com

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