- (Photo Courtesy Attorney General's Office)
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has again rejected a pro-gay marriage group's proposed ballot measure that if approved would repeal the state's marriage amendment.
McDaniel decided Monday that Arkansans for Equality's proposed measure to repeal Amendment 83 was problematic over the ballot initiative's language.
Aaron Sadler, spokesman for the Office of Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, provided The Christian Post with a copy of the decision. "That rejection was due to misleading tendencies in the proposed ballot title and the ballot title's failure to include any mention of the proposal's effect on current law," wrote McDaniel.
"You may, after clarification of the matters discussed above, submit the text of your proposed amendment, along with a proposed popular name and ballot title, at your convenience."
Arkansans for Equality posted a statement on their Facebook page in response to the news of the latest rejection.
"Today we received word that Arkansas For Equality's ballot language has been rejected by the Attorney General Dustin McDaniel. Though we are saddened, we are not terribly surprised," reads the statement. "Getting language on a ballot is a difficult process. Regardless, it really doesn't matter… does it? We're all here to fight for our rights. We don't expect to win today, and we may not win tomorrow, but we WILL have our human rights."
In 2004, Arkansas voters approved Amendment 83, known as the Arkansas Marriage Amendment, by a margin of 75 percent to 25 percent.
One of several similar amendments passed throughout the United States in 2004, Arkansas' marriage amendment was championed and sponsored by the Arkansas Family Council.
Jerry Cox, director of the AFC, told The Christian Post that in rejecting the ballot initiative he believed McDaniel "is simply doing his job."
"His job is to make sure the ballot initiative that goes before the people is well written, clear enough that the average voter can understand it," said Cox.
Cox also told CP that he felt that even if the ballot initiative were to make it onto the ballot and be voted on, the people of Arkansas would still reject it.
"A pro-homosexual group here in Arkansas conducted a poll about six weeks ago and in their poll, it indicated that the Arkansas Marriage Amendment would still pass," said Cox.
"Nobody knows what the vote would actually be, because you don't know who's going to actually turn out and vote, but even by their own admission the Arkansas Marriage Amendment would still pass today if it were on the ballot."
According to the Associated Press, Ark. Attorney General McDaniel rejected a similar ballot initiative in July over concerns that it would mislead voters into thinking the effort would legalize same-sex marriage rather than just remove an amendment.