Georgia group appeals marriage amendment ruling
October 07 2004 12:00 AM ET
Gay rights supporters appealed to the Georgia supreme court in Atlanta on Wednesday to block a same-sex marriage amendment from state ballots. The appeal comes after a lower-court judge refused to prevent the ballot question on whether marriage should be only between a man and a woman. Judge Constance Russell ruled against the request last week.
The gay rights supporters, including two state legislators, had argued that the amendment should be tossed because voters will not be able to read the full language of what could be changed in the state constitution.
The measure, which goes to voters on November 2, stipulates that Georgia will not recognize same-sex marriages performed by other states and declares that the state's judges will have no jurisdiction to resolve property disputes arising from same-sex relationships. Gay rights groups claim the amendment is legally flawed because voters are asked only about marriage, not the jurisdiction question.
"By combining multiple subjects in one amendment and using misleading ballot language, an election on the proposed amendment would violate the rights of voters at the ballot box," the appellants wrote. The amendment opponents have requested a speedy decision by the state's highest court. Gay marriage is already illegal in Georgia, but the matter is not addressed in the constitution.