78-22%: Louisiana passes const. marriage amendment
BATON ROUGE, La. (BP)--Exceeding even the hopes of some supporters, Louisiana voters overwhelmingly approved a state constitutional marriage amendment Sept. 18 by a margin of 78-22 percent.
The amendment, which bans both same-sex "marriage" and Vermont-type civil unions, won in every parish -- even in New Orleans. With every precinct reporting, the amendment received 618,928 votes for it, 177,103 votes against it.
In early August, Missouri voters passed their marriage amendment with 71 percent of the vote. As many as 11 states could be voting on marriage amendments Nov. 2, and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins -- a Louisiana native -- has issued a friendly challenge to the other states.
"I challenge you, being from Louisiana ... to beat that," Perkins said at a "Battle for Marriage" rally Sept. 19.
The amendment, though, faces a legal challenge from the homosexual activist group Forum for Equality. The group sued in court to keep the amendment off the ballot, but failed.
In a statement the Louisiana Family Forum said that Louisianans have "sent a very clear message" to the nation and to the courts: "leave traditional marriage and our children alone."
State marriage amendments tie the hands of state courts, preventing Massachusetts-type rulings legalizing same-sex "marriage." But they can be overturned in federal courts, where Nebraska's marriage amendment is being challenged. For that reason, pro-family groups are supporting an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
For more information about the national debate over same-sex "marriage," visit http://www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage