Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (D) gave approval for a measure to begin collecting signatures for its effort to repeal a ban on same-sex marriage.
Arkansans for Equality submitted a proposed ballot title for review. The proposed constitutional amendment would repeal Amendment 83, the state’s marriage amendment that prohibits same-sex marriages in Arkansas. Amendment 83 also prohibits the recognition of civil unions and relationships similar to marriage.
The ballot proposal does not permit same-sex marriage, if voters were to eventually approve it. The measure restores state law to where it was before voters approved the ban, and it gives the General Assembly the power to pass laws governing same-sex marriage.
“Having analyzed your proposed amendment, as well as your proposed popular name and ballot title under the above precepts, it is my conclusion that the popular name ‘Repeal of the Arkansas Marriage Amendment’ is sufficient. It is therefore hereby certified as submitted,” McDaniel wrote.
The group pushing the repeal will now have until July 7, 2014 to collect 78,133 signatures of registered Arkansas voters in order to place the proposed constitutional amendment on next year’s ballot.
McDaniel also rejected two other ballot titles on Thursday (Sept. 19).
A proposed amendment that would recognize same-sex marriage was rejected by McDaniel. He said there were ambiguities in the language of the proposal.
“Having analyzed your proposed amendment in light of the foregoing precepts, I conclude that I must reject your proposal due to deficiencies in the ballot title and in your proposal’s text,” he said.
The two citizens representing the proposal, Jack Weir and Christopher Jacks of Maumelle, can resubmit the ballot title again.
Also, the group Regnat Populus had their measure to restrict corporate contributions to campaigns rejected by McDaniel.
The proposed constitutional amendment would prevent Arkansas corporate entities from spending funds in federal, state or local elections in state. Again, McDaniel cited ambiguities in the language of the proposal.
“A number of additions or changes to your ballot title are, in my view, necessary in order to more fully and correctly summarize your proposal,” he said. “I cannot, however, at this time, fairly or completely summarize the effect of your proposed measure to the electorate in a popular name or ballot title without the resolution of the ambiguities.”