A judge has used a technicality to throw out Georgia’s ban on same-sex marriage, saying voter approval of the measure was gathered in violation of a rule limiting ballot questions to one subject, reported the Associated Press today.
The ban was approved in 2004 after 76% of Georgia voters indicated their support for the amendment. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Constance C. Russell said voters should have been given the opportunity to indicate if they supported some measure of legal status for same-sex relationships.
“People who believe marriages between men and women should have a unique and privileged place in our society may also believe that same-sex relationships should have some place although not marriage,” she wrote in her ruling.
Judge Russell admitted procedural requirements such as the single-subject rule “rarely enjoy popular support,” but she said the rule “protects the right of those people to hold both views and reflect both judgments by their vote,” and that such requirements “ensure that the actions of government are constrained by the rule of law.”
Gov. Sonny Perdue said the ruling disregarded the clear support of Georgia voters for the amendment, which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
“The people of Georgia knew exactly what they were doing when an overwhelming 76% voted in support of this constitutional amendment,” he said. “It is sad that a single judge has chosen to reverse this decision.”
Gov. Perdue said the state is considering options, including a direct appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court.
Gay rights activists filed a legal challenge against the ban in November 2004, shortly after it was approved.
(This article courtesy of LifeSiteNews.com.)