Marriage and family on the ballot
Marriage and family on the ballot: This topic refers to ballot measures regarding marriage, unmarried couples, adoption, alimony, and benefits. Subtopics include: divorce and custody and domestic partnerships.
- Mississippi Marriage Definition, Amendment 1 (2004)
- Alabama Interracial Marriage, Amendment 2 (2000)
Ballot measures lists
One man and one woman?
Many marriage-related ballot measures offer definitions of marriage as a union of one man and one woman. In defining marriage in that fashion, proponents are saying that when a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, enter into a committed relationship with each other, their arrangements with each other should not legally be considered a marriage. These ballot measures are sometimes collectively referred to as Defense of Marriage Amendments or "DOMAs".
Altogether, voters in 29 states have passed state constitutional amendments that ban same-sex marriage: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Hawaii voters approved a constitutional amendment empowering the legislature to outlaw same-sex marriage; that state's lawmakers then did so in 1998.
In 2009 voters in Washington approved granting all the rights of marriage to registered domestic partners.
Not all marriage-related amendments and initiatives are about defining marriage; some of them relate to adoption, custody, divorce and other marriage-related issues.
In 2008, California Proposition 8 was approved, representing the first time that same-sex marriage was banned in a state where it was already legal. Other notable developments included the approval of the Arizona Marriage Protection Amendment, which banned same-sex marriage in Arizona after a broader proposed amendment failed in 2006.
In 2006, voters in nine states had the opportunity to weigh in on ballot measures about how to define marriage. Each of the nine measures in one way or another was an attempt to legislatively define marriage as between a man and a woman. The Arizona initiative lost, representing the first time that a marriage-related amendment has been defeated (although a narrower ban was approved in 2008).
- $18 million cumulatively was spent by political committees working for and against the nine proposals.
- Opponents of the measures outspent advocates by about 3-1.
- Only in Tennessee did supporters raise more money than opponents
- The Arlington Group contributed $1.65 million through "member groups and affiliates".
- Gay and lesbian rights groups contributed $5.64 million, mostly through the Gill Action Fund.
- Tim Gill and his connections cumulatively contributed $5.28 million to defeat the measures.
- Churches and their employees gave $234,344 to support the measures, versus $1.9 million in 2004.
- LibGuide resources at Dmoz.org
- Financial contributions for gay marriage ballot measures at FollowTheMoney.org
- Same-sex marriage: Breaking the firewall in California?, an October 14, 2008 report by the Initiative & Referendum Institute.
- Family and Marriage at The Heritage Foundation