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Gay & Lesbian News

Illinois Drops Gay Marriage From Ballot

SPRINGFIELD, IL -- The Illinois Board of Election on Friday upheld a decision not to allow a proposed referendum on gay marriage on the ballot in Illinois because the conservative group behind the initiative, Protect Marriage Illinois, did not collect enough valid signatures.

Gay MarriageIn a sample verification of the 330,000 collected signatures, the Board of Elections found that only 91 percent of them were valid. The state requires a 95 percent validation rate on test samples.

The anti-gay marriage groups are continuing to fight, though, taking their case to federal court. They claim that the process of getting a referendum on the Illinois ballot is too burdensome and therefore unconstitutional.

"Unless they pull a rabbit out of a hat in federal court, it's not going to be on the ballot," said Patricia Logue, senior counsel for Lambda Legal.

The suggested referendum would not have amended Illinois' constitution to ban same-sex marriage as similar measures have done in many other states. Instead it would simply have asked Illinois voters if they wanted a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage or not.

According to a poll released in May, most Illinois voters oppose same-sex marriage. However, only 40 percent believe in an amendment of the state's constitution.

In a comment, Gov. Rod Blagojevich said he was pleased that it looks like the referendum won't be on the ballot.
 

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