By ADAM BASCOM
Voters in Alaska and Hawaii passed propositions in favor of making only heterosexual marriages legal.
Sixty-seven percent of voters in Hawaii voted that the current law allowing legal same-sex marriages should be re-considered by the legislature, rather than allowing the law to stay in place. In Alaska, 66 percent of voters decided only marriages between one man and one woman would be legally recognized.
The LDS Church had donated a combined $1.1 million to campaigns against same-sex marriages in both states.
“The reason the church feels so strongly about the battle against same-sex marriage is because they want to preserve traditional marriage,” LDS Church spokesman Don LeFevre said.
Prior to the election, LeFevre said this effort was one of the largest dollar donation to one single moral issue by the LDS Church.
In 1993, Hawaii passed a law that made same-sex marriages legally recognized as marriages. This year, a “yes” vote overturned the old law and turned the matter over to the legislature for reconsideration. A “no” vote left the law in the hands of the courts as it was prior to the election.
“Generally most people didn’t want it legalized. There were a lot of upset people back in `93 when the laws started swaying towards allowing homosexual marriages,” said Nancy Fujii, a juniorfrom Hawaii, majoring in clinical lab science.
She also said she believes the law could have a negative effect if it passed. “The vote was important because other states were watching to see what happened in Hawaii,” Fujii said.
Tuesday’s vote included another proposition in Alaska concerning same-sex marriages. The measure was a proposed amendment that provides a legal definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. Referred to as Alaska Ballot Measure 2, the proposition was sparked by a judge’s refusal to dismiss a lawsuit by two Anchorage men challenging the state’s standing law against same-sex marriage.
Chantel Nebeker, an Eagle River, Ala., resident said, “I didn’t think it should have even been an issue here … If we are the first state to go, many others could go along with it,” she said.
“Critics of the ballot measure argue the issue isn’t same-sex marriage but whether the Hawaii Constitution should be amended to deny gay and lesbian rights that others have,” according to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
The LDS Church has been backing the fight against same-sex marriage for some time, “We even had a statement read in church to help clarify for church members what the church’s stand is on the issue,” Meyer said.