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.[Comments To This Article]
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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
"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
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.