[img]https://www.sermonindex.net/images/forum/2004/may/featured_news.gif[/img]NEW ORLEANS Sept. 18, 2004 Louisiana voters overwhelmingly approved a state constitutional amendment Saturday banning same-sex marriages and civil unions, one of up to 12 such measures on the ballot around the country this year.With 95 percent of precincts reporting, the amendment was winning approval with 79 percent of the vote and support for it was evident statewide. Only in New Orleans, home to a politically strong gay community, did the race appear to be close, and even there the amendment was passing by a small margin.Christian conservatives had conducted an intense grassroots lobbying campaign for the amendment, which had been expected to pass easily. The civil rights group Forum for Equality had already promised legal action against it."It's gratifying to see the people of Louisiana had an opportunity, as distinguished from judges, having the final say on the issue of whether traditonal marriage will continue to be the fundamental institution in our state," said Darrell White, a retired state judge and consultant for Louisiana Family Forum, which pushed for the amendment.John Rawls, a lawyer for Forum for Equality, reiterated the group's contention that the amendment does far more than stop gay marriage and that it could affect many private contracts between unmarried couples, gay or straight."I am disappointed that so many Louisianians either did not read the amendent or are so afraid of gays that they voted for this amendment anyway," Rawls said.
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