A Defense of Marriage constitutional amendment (DOMA) will be placed on the 2012 May primary ballot for voter approval. Each side spoke extensively about their position on the bill when it was debated in both the House and the Senate. President Pro Tem Phil Berger also specifically commented, “We look forward to eight months of healthy debate before voters decide this issue at the polls,” indicating that just because it has been placed on the ballot, the time for debate has not ended.
As the debate went on inside the General Assembly, two rallies were held outside. A pro-DOMA rally was held yesterday with support across political and cultural boundaries. An anti-DOMA rally was held today even as the Senate made its final vote.
SB 514, Defense of Marriage, passed the House Monday with a final vote of 75-42 and the Senate today with a final vote of 30-16. Each chamber needed a three-fifths majority to pass. This legislation seeks to confirm existing law by putting traditional marriage in the state Constitution, making it more difficult for future legislatures or courts to change DOMA, or allow gay marriage, down the road.
It now rests with the will of the people to determine if DOMA will make it onto the state Constitution.