Georgia Doesn’t Ban Gay Barriage
Ron Gunzburger reports,
In a very surprising move, the Georgia House of Representatives narrowly rejected a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage Thursday. The measure had been expected to pass and appear on the ballot this November. Instead, the House voted 117-50 in favor of the marriage ban — but that total was three votes short of the 120 votes needed to pass a constitutional amendment. Legislators are expected to seek reconsideration and a second vote Monday, as 13 members — 12 Dems and 1 GOP — did not vote (8 were present but refused to vote and 5 had excused absences). “I’m going to use my powers of persuasion and just reason with them,” said State Director Sadie Fields of the Christian Coalition. The most vocal opposition came from the black and urban members of the House, who compared the struggle for black civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s to the current national debate over gay rights. “What we’re saying [by this amendment] is that we’re going to legally, constitutionally discriminate against this segment of the population,” complained State Rep. Bob Holmes (D). Rural white Democrats largely joined with the Republicans in voting to support the amendment. Only one Republican voted against the gay marriage ban amendment. The Georgia Senate has already approved the amendment.
Interesting. Given that 12 of 13 who skipped the vote were Democrats, it’s quite possible that this result will stand. Still, a more than 2-to-1 ratio among those who did vote is instructive as to the popular sentiment in the state. And it seems likely that an amendment to the U.S. Constitution would easily sail through the Georgia legislature.