Voters to Face Controversial Moral Issues on State Ballots

On Nov. 4, voters will have to bring their religious and ethical convictions to the polls as they grapple with a number moral issues on state ballots.

Americans will consider 153 proposals on ballots in 36 states, but moral issues – ranging from same-sex marriage to assisted suicide – are among the hot-button issues facing voters.

Marriage definition

California will vote on Proposition 8, which would amend the state Constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. The measure would effectively ban gay marriage and reverse the state Supreme Court decision that overturned a 2000 state law prohibiting same-sex marriage.

Arkansas will vote on Proposition 102, which would amend the state Constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

Florida will vote on Amendment 2, which would amend the state Constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. The measure needs 60 percent voter approval to pass.

About two dozen states have already approved a constitutional amendment on the definition of marriage.


Arkansas will vote on Act 4, which would prohibit unmarried couples from adopting or being foster parents. This measure would apply to cohabiting couples and those seeking adoption. Since gay marriage is not legal in the state, the measure would ban gay couples from adopting.

Personhood Amendment

Colorado will vote on the Amendment 48, known as the "Personhood amendment," which would amend the state Constitution to define the terms "person" or "persons" to include any human being from the moment of fertilization. Both sides of the amendment say it could lay the groundwork for a state ban on abortion.


California will vote on Proposition 4, which would require parental notification for abortions involving minors. The amendment would change the state's constitution to prohibit abortions for those under 18 until 48 hours after the doctor notifies an adult family member.

South Dakota will vote on Amendment 11, which would ban all abortions except in pregnancies involving rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.

Assisted suicide

Washington will vote on Initiative 1000, which would allow mentally competent, terminally ill adults who are diagnosed with six months or less to live to receive lethal prescriptions from their doctors. Oregon is currently the only state that allows physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill.

Stem cells

Michigan will votes on Proposal 2, which would legalize embryonic stem cell research in the state. It would change the state constitution to allow people to donate "extra" embryos from fertility treatments for scientific research.


The city of San Francisco will vote on Proposition K, which would de-criminalize prostitution.


Michigan will vote on Proposal 1, which would legalize medicinal marijuana.

Massachusetts will vote Initiative 2, which would decriminalize possession of an ounce or less of marijuana.


Arkansans will vote on Amendment 3, which would allow the state Constitution to be changed to allow the state legislature to establish a statewide lottery to generate funds for college scholarships. The measure does not allow casino gambling.

Maryland will vote on Question 2, which would amend to state Constitution to legalize slot machine gambling.

Missouri will vote on Proposal A, which would remove a rule that a gambler can lose a maximum of $500 during the first two hours at a casino, raise casino taxes, and cap the number of casinos in the state at those already built and in the process of being built. It would also create a fund from gambling tax to fund primary and secondary education.

The information above has been compiled by Christian Post reporter Katherine T. Phan.

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