State Ballot Measures
Updated 12 July 2014
- On 24 February 2014, AK state Senator Hollis French proposed to repeal the 1998 constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage, which requires 2/3 approval in both the House and Senate before appearing on a statewide ballot. The move was applauded by Alaskans Together for Equality.
- On 16 November 2012, the 400-member group, Arkansans For Equality, applied for state incorporation so that they can begin to repeal the 2004 constitutional ban on same-gender marriage. On 27 June 2013, AFE proposed a constitutional amendment to only repeal the 2004 ban on same-gender civil marriage. On 13 August 2013, the AR attorney general approved the wording of the AFE proposal.
- Another group, Arkansas Initiative for Marriage Equality, met with attorneys the same week to work on a ballot initiative for 2016, which requires valid petition signatures from 78,133 residents. On 7 November 2013, AR Attorney General Dustin McDaniel approved the AIME ballot measure to repeal the existing ban on same-gender civil marriage and also to legalize such unions. On 18 January 2014, AIME began petitioning to repeal the 2004 constitutional ban against same-gender civil marriage, via the 2016 ballot. Valid signatures are needed from at least 10% of all 2014 voters and 5% of the voters in 15 counties.
- On 10 July 2013, AIME proposed an amendment to repeal the ban and also legalize same-gender civil marriage.
- On 31 January 2013, Vote Equal (formerly Marriage Michigan PAC) announced it will collect over 300,000 signatures and raise $10 million so that in November 2014 voters can (a) repeal the 2004 same-gender marriage ban and (b) pass marriage equality.
- In 2002, NV banned same-gender marriage via its constitution. In 2009, the legislature created domestic partnerships. On 22 April 2013, Senate Senate Joint Resolution 3, SJR-3, (which would repeal the state’s same-gender marriage ban and approve same-gender marriage) was approved by the NV Senate, and on 23 May 2013, it was approved by the state Assembly, on a 27-to-14 vote. If both houses approve it again in 2015, it goes to voters in 2016.
- On 13 February 2014, Freedom Nevada began a ballot campaign to repeal NV’s constitutional ban on same-gender civil marriage in 2016, sponsored by ACLU, ACLU of Nevada, Freedom to Marry, Human Rights Campaign, and Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.
- Legalized Discrimination • On 21 November 2013, two anti-LGBT organizations (Friends of Religious Freedom, Oregon Family Council) filed ballot measure IP-52, to legalize discrimination against same-gender couples seeking commercial wedding services whenever the discriminators use personal religious beliefs as their reason. If the wording is approved by state officials, the sponsors would have to gather 87,213 valid signatures to get the measure on the November 2014 ballot. On 14 March 2014, the OR attorney general titled the ballot initiative, “Religious Belief Exceptions to the Anti- Discrimination Laws...” On 14 May 2014 Reverends Barbara Campbell and Pamela Shepherd filed an amicus brief opposing ballot title changes to the initiative that would allow individuals, businesses and corporations to deny services to gay and lesbian couples. These faith leaders urged the Court to reject the changes to the ballot title that would suggest it’s impact would be to “protect religious freedom.”
Send questions and comments to Ned Flaherty: NFlaherty@MarriageEquality.org.