Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Results: Voters Decide on Same-Sex Marriage, Marijuana, and Religious Freedom. By Michael Peabody

On November 6, 2012 voters in many states had the opportunity to make decisions on a number of state laws through ballot measures. Voters in Maine, Maryland, and Washington voted in favor of measures that would legalize same-sex marriage. Voters in Minnesota rejected a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and voters in North Carolina voted to define marriage as solely existing between one man and one woman.

Voters in North Dakota rejected a Religious Freedom Restoration measure that would have required the government to demonstrate a compelling reason for imposing laws that are intended to be neutral but adversely affect the free exercise of religion. North Dakota also rejected a bill that would have increase criminal sanctions against certain types of animal cruelty.

California voters approved increased sanctions against human trafficking but rejected a measure that would have called for labeling foods that contain genetically modified ingredients.

Several states also approved laws that would allow the recreational use of marijuana and expanded gambling.

Ballot measures are subject to Federal pre-emption and judicial scrutiny but they are a reasonable way to gauge the mood of the voters in any given year. This year, after an intense campaign battle, the nation seems to have taken a decidedly left turn.

The following paragraphs outline the measures in each state and identify those states which did not have a ballot measure program or had no ballot measures that were relevant to religious liberty issues ... Read the full story by Michael Peabody in Religious Liberty

Author: Michael D. Peabody is an attorney in Los Angeles, California. He has practiced in the fields of workers compensation and employment law, including workplace discrimination and wrongful termination. He is a frequent contributor to Liberty magazine and edits ReligiousLiberty.TV, an independent website dedicated to celebrating liberty of conscience. Mr. Peabody is a favorite guest on Liberty’s weekly radio show, “Lifequest Liberty.”

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