The AJC reports on the gay marriage debate in the Georgia legislature:
An alternative proposal to add a same-sex marriage ban to the Georgia Constitution is expected to come up for a vote today in the Legislature, but even the author is unsure of its chances.
The state House of Representatives is scheduled to consider a resolution authored by state Rep. Jeanette Jamieson (D-Toccoa), who has proposed a more limited approach to banning same-sex marriage than a Republican-authored resolution that passed the state Senate.
“I don’t go out and count votes. I just make my proposal and let the chips fall where they may,” Jamieson said Monday when asked whether she had the votes to pass House Resolution 1470.
Republicans have called Jamieson’s proposal an attempt to kill Senate Resolution 595, which passed the Senate four weeks ago but in the House failed by three votes to get the two-thirds majority needed for a constitutional amendment. SR 595 awaits another House floor vote, but it is wedged behind Jamieson’s plan.
Jamieson’s proposal would delete a key provision of SR 595. The provision, “Section B,” stipulates that Georgia cannot recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and that no such marriage “shall be recognized by this state as entitled to the benefits of marriage.”
The Christian Coalition of Georgia has blasted HR 1470 as a “counterfeit bill” and is lobbying to defeat it. But Jamieson, who voted against SR 595, said her proposal is more likely to withstand court review and would not affect benefits some Georgia companies provide for domestic partners. Critics allege SR 595 might outlaw such benefits.
Both proposals would set up a November referendum in which voters would decide on a gay marriage ban. Georgia Equality, the state’s largest gay rights organization, opposes both measures.