Arkansas ponders gay marriage ban

(February 20, 2004) - (Little Rock-AP) -- Arkansas would constitutionally define marriage as a union only between a man and a woman under a proposed ballot initiative. The initiative would ban the state from giving marital or civil union status to anyone not entitled to that status under federal law or the U-S Constitution. It is proposed for the November election. Little Rock lawyer Robert Shafer filed the popular name and ballot title of the proposed Amendment Concerning Marriage and Civil Union with the state attorney general's office on behalf of an organization that he declined to name. State law requires the attorney general's office to review and determine the legality of a ballot initiative's proper name and ballot title. The attorney general may certify, reject or instruct partitioners to redesign the proposed measure in a manner that would not be misleading to voters.