Georgia's Ban Struck Down

Some of you have been commenting on this post about what’s going on in Georgia.

A little background: Two days ago a court ruled that Georgia’s amendment—similar to Wisconsin’s in its wording—was struck down because it violates the “single-subject rule” which limits each amendment put before voters to one topic. From yesterday’s New York Times:
A state amendment banning same-sex marriage was struck down Tuesday by a judge who upheld the voters' right to limit marriage to heterosexual couples but cited procedural flaws in the wording of the amendment, which was approved by more than three-quarters of voters.
Georgia will appeal this ruling. It's not clear whether or not Wisconsin also has the same single-subject rule.

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At 2:25 PM, Anonymous Buck said...

Wisconsin DOES have such a rule in Article XII, Section 1...."provided, that if more than one amendment be submitted, they shall be submitted in such a manner that the people may vote for or against such amendments separately."

In Wisconsin, one amendment seeks to ban both marriage and civil unions. I believe the amendment is problematic because there is no way for a person to vote against gay marriage and for civil unions, which I believe many people might like to do.

At 11:54 AM, Blogger Communitygal said...

A little more background: the May 16 decision is from a state trial court, and the appeal will likely wind up in the Georgia Supreme Court. So this is far from decided in Georgia.

Also, before the amendment was voted on at the ballot box in Georgia, the same people tried to block the vote based on the same single subject legal theory. The Georgia Supreme Court held in October 2004 that the vote could not be blocked on that theory, and the challenge would have to be brought, if at all, only after it was adopted by the voters. Shortly after it was adopted, the case that resulted in the May 16 decision was filed.

Any legal attacks on the proposed constitutional ban must be carefully considered, and I hope coordinated with state and national LGBT organizations, and with Wisconsin legal experts involved. Lawsuits have the potential to affect many many people beyond those who file them, and we must be careful to do these things only after careful deliberation.


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