Supporters of a North Dakota constitutional amendment to limit marriage to straight couples say they have collected more than enough petition signatures for their campaign to put the issue to a November vote. Only 25,688 signatures are needed to put the measure on the statewide ballot this fall, but the North Dakota Family Alliance's Web site, which posts updated signature totals daily, said the petition had 38,457 signatures as of 5:40 p.m. Monday.
The petition may have more than 40,000 names by the time it is submitted to Secretary of State Al Jaeger's office on August 3, said Christina Kindel, director of the alliance.
Robert Uebel, chairman of Equality North Dakota, a gay rights group that opposes the amendment, said the news is disappointing. "On the other hand, we also welcome the opportunity to make our case to the people of North Dakota," he said.
The amendment is intended to block North Dakota recognition of same-sex marriages. North Dakota law already bans state recognition of any same-sex marriage performed outside the state, and opponents of the amendment say that makes the amendment unnecessary.