What Has Been Done?
During the Fall of 2004, citizens in 13 states overwhelmingly approved constitutional amendments to preserve the traditional understanding of marriage as between a man and a woman in their state constitution.
In August Missouri passed its amendment by 71 percent. In Louisiana it passed by 78 percent in September. And in November, 11 additional states passed amendments: Arkansas (74 percent), Georgia (77 percent), Kentucky (75 percent), Michigan (59 percent), Mississippi (86 percent), Montana (66 percent), North Dakota (73 percent), Ohio (62 percent), Oklahoma (76 percent), Utah (66 percent), and Oregon (57 percent).
The amendment even passed in Oregon, where same-sex marriage proponents thought it possible to defeat the measure. Even though the national same-sex marriage lobby poured a majority of their resources into the state to defeat it, they were not successful.
The first passage of such an amendment in 2004 came in Missouri in early August. The amendment was passed by the state legislature earlier in the year and placed on the primary ballot. The response to the measure was considerable. Nearly 41% of the registered voters in Missouri turned out for the vote. Usually between 15%-20% of voters turn out for such a primary. Indeed, over 39,000 more people voted on the marriage amendment than did on the governor’s race, which was also on the ballot. Moreover the amendment was a non-partisan issue, as an analysis of the results shows that more Democrats voted for the marriage amendment than Republicans. The marriage amendment passed by nearly 71%.