Two states reject same-sex marriages
The Presbyterian Layman, November 6, 1998
Same-sex marriages and assisted suicides were rejected in a number of states during the Nov. 3 election, but gambling rolled on and abortion issues played to a mixed electorate.
Voters in Hawaii and Alaska decisively rejected same-sex marriage. By more than a 2-1 margin, Hawaiians allowed the legislature to restrict marriage to one man and one woman only. However, Hawaii’s Supreme Court is expected to rule later this year on same-sex marriage.
Alaska’s voters added a ban on same-sex marriages to the state constitution, approving Proposition 2 by a 2-1 margin. Proposition 2 amends the Declaration of Rights section of the constitution to say that only marriages between one man and one woman are valid.
Homosexual activists “tried to take voters in Hawaii and Alaska where they did not want to go,” said Jay Sekulow of the conservative American Center for Law and Justice. Voters repudiated the homosexual community’s attempt “to legitimize their lifestyle through the legislative process.”
Michigan voters rejected physician-assisted suicide. A ballot measure would have allowed terminally ill patients to obtain a lethal prescription from a physician and to administer the drugs themselves.
Maine and Colorado also have experienced pressure to legalize physician-assisted suicide. Only Oregon accepts the practice.
Voters in Washington state defeated a ban on the late-term abortion procedure.
Colorado voters were faced with two abortion-related measures. They approved one requiring parental notification for minors seeking the procedure, but rejected a ban on partial-birth abortion.
Gambling proponents won in California and Missouri. Californians approved unrestricted expansion of casino gambling on Indian tribal lands. Missouri expanded its gambling laws. Voters approved gambling on “river-boat” casinos floating in artificial moats; gambling already is legal on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.
Alabama voters approved the Alabama Religious Freedom Amendment, which bars the state from “burdening the freedom of religion unless the government demonstrates that it has a compelling reason to do so and that the interest is achieved by the least restrictive means.”
Proponents of medical marijuana scored big victories. Voters in Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, and Washington state approved various ballot measures on the issue, while the results from Oregon, Colorado, and Washington, D.C. were undecided, CNN reported. Supporters of medical marijuana say smoking pot may help ease pain and nausea for some patients.