CA Gay Marriage Ban Faces Challenge

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Pro-family groups in California are counting on a November ballot measure to permanently stop same-sex marriages in the state.

But a new decision by the state attorney general could influence the outcome of that vote.

On Nov. 4, California voters could ban gay marriage by supporting Proposition 8.

The legislation was originally worded to say "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

But Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown changed the ballots last week to say "to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry."

Analysts say that change may make passing the initiative hard because it implies that voters will be taking away existing rights by approving it.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Kerns with the Protect Marriage coalition described the wording as "inherently argumentative."

"This is a complete about-face from the ballot title that was assigned," she said.

Proposition 8 supporters have filed a lawsuit to get the ballot wording changed back.

Brown holds that the change was not political, but rather necessary because of events in the state since Proposition 8 petitions were first circulated. He cited the thousands of gay couples that have wed since June as one of those concerns.

California originally passed Proposition 22 in 2000, defining marriage as between one man and woman. Voters approved that legislation by more than 61 percent.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in California for six weeks.

Sources: Los Angeles Times, Protect Marriage

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