Anti Gay Marriage Petition Falls Short on Valid Signatures

Thu. July 6, 2006 12:00 AM by Kevin Wayne

Review shows gay marriage opponents don't have enough valid signatures

Chicago, IL - A petition to get a same sex marriage referendum on the November ballot in Illinois has apparently failed.

The conservative Illinois Family Institute had collected 345,000 signatures to present a non-binding referenum on the ballot that would limit marriage to a union between a man and woman.

The Illinois State Board of Elections reviewed a random sample of the signatures and found only about 91 percent of those signatures were valid.

State law requires that 95 percent of the signatures be valid in order for an issue to be placed on the ballot.

Peter LaBarbera, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute says their group plans to challenge the state's findings and move foward with the process. Gay-rights activists vow to continue fighting the effort to place the proposal on the ballot.

Illinois state law already prohibits gay marriage.

In March, the Illinois Family Institute pressured the Bush administration to revoke special visas allowing HIV-positive foreigners to compete in the Gay Games to be held in Chicago, Illnois.