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For week ended March 12, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 09Mar00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Analysis: Battles Over Same-Sex Marriage May Continue
(Effects of ban on same-sex marriage unclear in gay-friendly California)
Boston Globe (AP) 8Mar00 N1
By Bob Egelko: Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- Tuesday's passage of Proposition 22 in California was hailed by LDS Church leaders and others favoring the measure designed to keep same-sex marriages out of California while gay rights activists expressed disappointment at its passage. However, the proposition's passage may not settle the issue. Some gay rights activists are already seeking ways to reverse the decision and conservative activists are seeking ways to use the connections made during the campaign to roll-back other rights given to homosexuals, just as gay activists had feared.

The final tally put Proposition 22 passing, winning 61.4% of the 6,778,544 ballots cast on the measure to 38.6% against it. The proposition was in the majority in all but 4 California counties in the San Francisco Bay area.

But one group of gay rights activists wants to repeat the vote. The group is trying to get the more than 670,000 signatures it needs to put a new measure on the November ballot that would overturn proposition 22. So far the group has just 100,000 signatures, but now that proposition 22 has passed, it expects to get more attention and signatures. To make the ballot, it must have the signatures by mid-April.

Others question the constitutionality of the measure, and hope that same-sex marriage is legalized in another state so that proposition 22 can be challenged in court. They maintain that the measure violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection because it excludes same-sex marriages while allowing all other out-of-state marriages. Others believe the law is vulnerable to the Constitution's requirement that state's give "full faith and credit" to the laws of other states. However, any court challenge must wait for same-sex marriages to be legalized elsewhere. The issue is currently before the Vermont legislature because of a Vermont Supreme Court ruling.

Meanwhile, conservatives have plans of their own. An organization called the Campaign for California Families called Tuesday's results a repudiation of the "homosexual agenda" and claimed that the vote showed that most Californians oppose giving gays more rights. Some of the proponents of proposition 22 disagree, saying that their campaign was careful in distinguishing between protecting marriage and attacking gays.

And the Rev. Lou Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition says the vote "put a dent in the big lie of separation of church and state." He claims that the campaing gave him new allies in fighting 30 "gay bills" in the state legislature, including measures that expand domestic partner benefits to include medical leave, inheritance, wrongful-death suits and the right to make funeral arrangements.

Political analysts are even weighing the comments of LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley, generally interpreting his remarks at the National Press Club on Wednesday to mean that the LDS Church won't act on legislation for domestic partner benefits. When asked if the Church's activities supporting proposition 22 meant that the Church was taking a more active role in politics, Hinckley said, ''I don't think it signals a more active political posture'' for the church. He went on to say, ''We are not anti-gay. We are pro-family.''


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Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information