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Gay Marriages to be Decided at November Election

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Today, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced (pdf) that the initiative to ban gay marriage through a state amendment change qualifies for the November 4th ballot. 1,120,801 signatures were submitted and enough signatures qualified through a random sample signature check. If passed, the amendment would change California's consitutution to define marriage as a union “between a man and a woman.” One poll said that Californians "narrowly" reject gay marriage.

LIMIT ON MARRIAGE. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Amends the California Constitution to provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: The measure would have no fiscal effect on state or local governments. This is because there would be no change to the manner in which marriages are currently recognized by the state. (Initiative 07-0068.)

Opponents of same-sex marriages have asked the California Supreme Court to stay the ban on the marriages until voters decide, but no decision has been made yet. For now, county clerks offices around California are preparing for a June 17 start date for an influx of marriages to perform.