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As Election Day Nears, Marriage Hangs in the Balance
Posted by CitizenLink Staff
In at least five states, the definition of marriage could hinge on who wins on Nov. 2.
Judges in Iowa and gubernatorial candidates in California, Minnesota, New Hampshire and New York are vying for victory. The winners likely will influence state legislation on marriage.
“(Marriage) is an important issue, and Republicans abandon it at their peril,” Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, told The Boston Globe.
Iowa: Three of the Supreme Court judges who struck down the state’s Definition of Marriage Act last year are up for a retention vote. If marriage advocates are successful in ousting one or more of the jurists, it would be the first time in the state’s history that a judge has lost a retention vote.
“Judges will have to sit up and take notice that they can’t just arbitrarily make up the law,” Brown told The Globe.
California: The gubernatorial race could play a key role in the legal wrangling over Proposition 8, the state’s marriage-protection amendment that passed in November 2008. Attorney General Jerry Brown, a Democrat, is facing Republican Meg Whitman, the former CEO of eBay.
In his current post, Brown has refused to defend marriage, while Whitman has pledged to support Prop. 8 in the courts. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will take up the marriage case in December.
Minnesota: Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, who supports God’s design for marriage, will face two same-sex marriage supporters in November — Democrat Mark Dayton and independent Tom Horner.
“The definition of marriage is an election issue in every state that doesn’t have a constitutional amendment — including Minnesota,” said Jenny Tyree, marriage analyst at CitizenLink. “Minnesota’s voters are smart; they can see that the governors in other states have influenced marriage laws, and they can expect that their next governor will also be faced with this issue.”
New Hampshire: Democratic Gov. John Lynch, who is seeking re-election, switched sides on the marriage issue last year by signing same-sex marriage into law.
“John Lynch has broken promise after promise to New Hampshire voters,” Brown told The Associate Press. “On the critical issues of the day, John Lynch has deceived voters. He must be held accountable for his actions.”
Lynch will face Republican John Stephen, who supports marriage.
New York: Late last year, the state Senate defeated a same-sex marriage bill by a large margin. Outgoing Gov. David Paterson had pledged to sign the legislation. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo has said legalization of gay marriage would be a priority of his administration. Republican challenger Carl Paladino supports traditional marriage.
“Gov. Paterson did all he could to undermine New York’s marriage laws, but he couldn’t redefine marriage by himself and neither can the next governor,” Tyree said. “Fortunately, voters have the opportunity to elect state representatives and senators who reflect their values on marriage.”