State board won’t put gay marriage on ballot
State elections officials voted Friday to keep a gay marriage referendum off the November ballot, but supporters of the measure want a federal court to intervene.
The State Board of Elections agreed with a hearing officer’s findings that there weren’t enough valid signatures to put on the ballot an advisory referendum asking voters if the state constitution should be amended to ban gay marriage.
“Unless they pull a rabbit out of a hat in federal court, it’s not going to be on the ballot,” said Patricia Logue, senior counsel for the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund.
A 1996 Illinois law already prohibits same-sex marriage, but gay-marriage opponents say they fear courts could overturn the law unless the state constitution is changed. More than 40 states have taken steps to define marriage to ban same-sex marriage either through constitutional amendments or with statutes.
Organizers of the gay marriage referendum are claiming in federal court that getting a referendum on the Illinois ballot is both burdensome and unconstitutional because of the complicated process to gather and verify petition signatures, said Peter LaBarbera, executive director of the conservative Illinois Family Institute and Protect Marriage Illinois.
But LaBarbera and other gay marriage opponents were rebuffed earlier this month when a district court judge dismissed their claim so now they want a federal appellate court to intervene.
“It’s not near over,” LaBarbera said.
Want to protect marriage? Ban divorce then, stupid assholes!
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