Today, as reported by the AJC, the State Supreme Court in a 5-2 decision voted to allow the following proposed amendment to the Georgia Constitution.
This is the actual language on the Georgia ballot in November:
Shall the Constitution be amended so as to provide that this state shall recognize as marriage only the union of man and woman?"
( ) YES
( ) NO
This is the full language of the amendment, as passed by the Georgia General Assembly:
Paragraph I. Recognition of marriage. (a) This state shall recognize as marriage only the union of man and woman. Marriages between persons of the same sex are prohibited in this state. (b) No union between persons of the same sex shall be recognized by this state as entitled to the benefits of marriage. This state shall not give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other state or jurisdiction respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other state or jurisdiction. The courts of this state shall have no jurisdiction to grant a divorce or separate maintenance with respect to any such relationship or otherwise to consider or rule on any of the parties´ respective rights arising as a result of or in connection with such relationship.
As you can see for yourself, what you see on the ballot isn't the full detail of what you're getting.
Even if you're someone who is against the recognition of gay unions, think of the children. Right now, hundreds of children across Georgia are in foster homes, waiting to be adopted. Studies show that gay Southerners value the family unit, and are even more likely to adopt than their peers across the nation. Even if, for whatever reason, you're against gay rights, you probably agree that children who are cared for in loving homes are more likely to become contributing members of society. Surely some of you will at least agree, even reluctantly, that a stable gay or lesbian home is far better for a youngster than the constant insecurity and vulnerability of the foster home shuffle. This amendment could be used to deny same-sex couples the opportunity to adopt.
Furthermore, this is completely redundant legislation, a clearly manipulative and divisive measure in an election year. Same-sex marriage is already against the law in Georgia, and it even outlaws all possible compromise proposals. Even if, for some reason, you'd rather see a child forced through foster care instead of being placed in a loving home, surely you can at least agree that it makes more sense to enforce existing law than to add to governmental bureaucracy.
Just speaking for myself, I wholly and completely support gay unions. I have so many friends in loving relationships who are just as committed and devoted to their partners as I am to my husband. They deserve the same rights and recognition under the law, and they deserve those rights now. Not ten years from now, not ten days from now, not ten minutes from now. Right now, at this very moment.
Please, do what you can to make those rights a reality. Vote NO to Amendment 1 on November 2nd in Georgia.
For more information:
Georgians Against Discrimination
Georgia is one of 11 states with a constitutional same-sex marriage ban on the Nov. 2 ballot. I'm doing what I can to make sure it's not one of eleven states that enacts such hurtful doctrine.