CA Judge Upholds Marriage Ballot Changes

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A California judge on Friday upheld changes made by the state attorney general to a marriage amendment ballot - changes that marriage defense groups say are biased.

Also known as as the California Marriage Protection Act, the ballot title on Proposition 8 was changed from "limit on marriage" to "eliminates right of same-sex couples to marry."

Lawyers with the Alliance Defense Fund contend that the changed wording is prejudicial and biased against the amendment. They will appeal the judges ruling and ask that the Court order the attorney general to comply with election law that requires the ballot title to be fair and unbiased.

"Election ballot titles should be neutral and not intentionally prejudice voters," said ADF Senior Counsel Joseph Infranco. "The ballot title is argumentative and not impartial. The AG's job is to apply the law in a way that's fair to all Californians, not in a way that influences elections.

"We will immediately appeal the ruling because the purpose of this amendment is to protect marriage broadly as the union of one man and one woman," he said.

ADF's Gary McCaleb said Friday's ruling could be a bit confusing because there are appeals on both sides of the issue.

"It is important for Californian's to have clear, objective explanations of Proposition 8, which restores the legal meaning of marriage to be one man and one woman," McCaleb explained.

"We are pursuing this case on appeal so that Californians will get the clear language they deserve on the ballot," he said.

Earlier this year, California's highest court struck down the will of the people of California to ban same-sex marriage.

The state's supreme court justices ruled 4-3 against a popular marriage act passed by voters in 2000. California voters overwhelmingly passed the Defense of Marriage Act, or Proposition 22, by more than 61 percent.

But the court's ruling overturned that voter-approved ban on same-sex unions, saying it was unconstitutional.

In response, marriage defense groups proposed a new ballot measure for a constitutional marriage amendment, which would prevent judges from overturning voter will.

"The thing the people of California need to KNOW is that a 'yes' vote for Prop 8 in November is a vote to restore the definition of marriage to one man, one woman as it has always been," McCaleb said.

More than a million Californians signed official petitions that contained the original ballot title language in order to put Proposition 8 on the November for a vote.

If approved by voters, Proposition 8 would add the following words to California's constitution: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

Source: CBN News, ADF

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