Gay marriage ban can start collecting signatures

(March 15, 2004) - (Little Rock-AP) -- Arkansas is one of a handful of states that is considering changes to its constitution to prohibit gay marriages. On Friday, the Arkansas attorney general's office certified the popular name and ballot title for a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages. Certification by Attorney General Mike Beebe's office paves the way for supporters to start collecting 80,570 valid signatures of registered voters to get the proposal, which would define marriage as only the union between a man and a woman, on the November general election ballot. Lawsuits challenging prohibitions on same-sex marriage are winding their way through courts across the country. Suits or legal actions are pending in Massachusetts, Oregon and California as well. Some legal scholars say it is quite likely that courts will decide the Constitution protects gay marriage.