Love and Marriage Shouldn't Be This Complicated

| Fri Nov. 3, 2006 4:18 PM EST

The marriage amendment is expected to pass in five states but in three states victory for its socially conservative supporters is not a sure thing, reports the Washington Times.

These include Arizona, Wisconsin and South Dakota, where the amendment has been widely criticized for its limitations to both heterosexual and homosexual unions. Groups such as Arizona Together, Fair Wisconsin and South Dakotans Against Discrimination are waging campaigns against the amendment. In Arizona, polls show that voters are concerned about its effects on health benefits to families (which could be the result of an ad paid for by Arizona Together).

Fair Wisconsin's website lays out 20 possible effects of the ban, including limiting access to protection for victims of domestic abuse. While in South Dakota, the amendment has been called poorly worded.

The words on the ballot will vary widely: from simplest definition in Idaho of "a marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state," to South Carolina's complex description which includes the phrase "This State and its political subdivisions shall not recognize or give effect to a legal status, right, or claim created by another jurisdiction regarding any other domestic union."

One woman in Wisconsin wrote in to the Sheboygan Press to express her opposition to the wording of the amendment: "Most confusing of all, the amendment bans two separate things — gay marriage and 'anything substantially similar to marriage,': wrote Barbara Hill. "Many voters may want to preclude the possibility of gay marriage but allow adults to commit to one another in a legal way."

--Caroline Dobuzinskis

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