Same Sex Marriage Bill Could Go to Georgia Voters

A bill that would allow Georgia voters to have their say on same sex marriage was the hot topic in Atlanta Thursday. The bill to allow voters to have their say on same sex marriage failed by three votes in the House.

The same sex marriage ban remains in the House Rules Committee to be considered again for voting in the House and now the finger is being pointed at Democrats.

Senate resolution 595 has not been debated in the House since March 1.

Republicans say that Democrats are the reason the bill has been stalled. Rep. Karla Brenner, (R) Central Dekalb County, GA, said, “I don't consider it to be stalled. I think that we've voted on it and defeated it, hopefully it's dead.”

Brenner, Georgia's only openly gay lawmaker, says the bill infringes upon individual rights and in no way is marriage in jeopardy in the state.

Rep. Calvin Hill, (R) Cherokee County, GA, said, “Mankind has pretty much known what the definition of marriage is, no matter what culture, what race, what religion. The definition of marriage throughout mankind is between one man, one woman.”

Hill says the bill is not taking away rights or attempting to make any laws, but rather creating an amendment allowing citizens to decide on the issue.

There's an opportunity to redefine, separate for this issue, a civil union of some sort with certain legal rights that may pertain to couples of the same sex. I wouldn't call it marriage.

The bill is also getting strong opposition from the black caucus. Those lawmakers say it is a form of discrimination.

If the bill is delayed much longer it could be thrown out altogether. Georgia's legislative session ends in four days. If the bill is not reconsidered by then the referendum will be dead for this year.