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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.

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This morning, the LA Times reported the positive impacts of allowing gay marriages -- a $370 million boost to the state's economy. However, the amendment change's use of "fiscal effect" only refers to budget used to implement the bill, not increases money spent within the California economy.

Other propositions Californians will be voting on in November include a "high-speed rail bond, a measure relating to the treatment of farm animals, a children's hospital bond, a parental notification for abortion measure, a measure involving the sentencing of nonviolent offenders, a measure regarding increased criminal penalties and public safety funding, and a renewable energy measure," says the Secretary of State's website.

Photo by Donnay via Flickr