Louisiana approves marriage ban initiative
The Louisiana senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, but still in question is when the issue will go before voters. The senate measure, approved by a 31-6 vote, calls for an election on September 18, while GOP representative Steve Scalise, the sponsor of the house proposal, has said he wanted it decided during the November election. Both houses passed similar versions of the bill with well more than the required two-thirds vote, and the election date has been the only major subject of disagreement. Some lawmakers have argued that the measure was a political ploy to help churn up conservative turnout in the general election for President Bush and Republican candidates such as Scalise, who is running for Congress.