Kansas voters have made that state the 18th in the nation to adopt a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. They approved on April 5 an amendment to the Kansas constitution banning gay marriage by a 70 percent margin.
Seventeen other states already have bans on gay marriage in their constitutions, 13 of which were passed last year. Three more—Alabama, South Dakota and Tennessee— have scheduled votes on similar amendments in 2006.
However, the Kansas amendment goes further than most, declaring: “No relationship, other than a marriage, shall be recognized by the state as entitling the parties to the rights or incidents of marriage.” That means it would ban marriage-like arrangements, such as civil unions or domestic partnerships, for unmarried couples—both heterosexual and homosexual.
Polls have shown that while a majority of the public opposes same-sex marriage, a plurality favors extending either civil-union or partner rights to gay couples.