Mont. Voters to Decide on Gay Marriage
By Associated Press
HELENA, Mont. -- A proposal to amend the Montana Constitution to ban gay marriage will appear on the fall ballot after supporters collected more than 46,000 signatures, officials announced Thursday.
To qualify for the Nov. 2 ballot, the measure needed a minimum of 41,020 signatures, the secretary of state's office said.
State law already prohibits same-sex marriages, but the initiative would make the ban more difficult to overturn by embedding it in the constitution.
Republican state Rep. Jeff Laszloffy proposed the amendment as president of the Montana Family Foundation.
Republicans Still Hope to Score Points on Gay Marriage
By CARL HULSE
ASHINGTON, July 15 - Minutes after the Senate rejected the Constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage on Wednesday, Republican sponsors of the proposal deftly maneuvered Representative Jim DeMint before the television cameras.
"All of us as Americans believe that people have a right to live the way they want, but no person, no judge has a right to redefine our basic institutions," asserted Mr. DeMint, a Republican who, not coincidentally, is running for the Senate back home in South Carolina.
Even in defeat, the effort by Republicans to thrust Mr. DeMint front and center illustrates how the party intends to capitalize on the fight over gay marriage.
Republican lawmakers, strategists and activists said in interviews that they would seize on the issue to motivate conservative voters - and draw a clear comparison with Democrats on an issue on which Republicans think they are in sync with most Americans.
Renewed State Efforts Made Against Same-Sex Marriage
By JAMES DAO
WASHINGTON, July 15 - The defeat of a federal constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage is spurring conservative groups to redouble efforts in a dozen states where similar amendments to state constitutions are likely to be on the ballot this year, proponents of the measures say.
Partisans on both sides have already begun organizing campaigns in many of those states, raising money, preparing advertising scripts and mobilizing get-out-the-vote operations that could increase turnout in several presidential swing states.
Many political analysts say President Bush is almost certain to benefit from the mobilization of conservatives in those states, particularly in Michigan and Oregon, where amendments seem likely to make the ballot.
"It will generate higher turnout among conservative Christians, who would tend to vote for President Bush," said John Green, director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute for Applied Politics at Akron University.