Marriage amendment passes in Louisiana

Sept. 19, 2004 at 3:28 PM

BATON ROUGE, La., Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Voters in Louisiana have approved a proposed state constitutional amendment by a 4-to-1 margin defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

With all precincts reporting, 618,869 people, or 78 percent, voted in favor of the amendment, and 177,145, or 22 percent, voted against, the Lafayette Daily Advertiser reported Sunday.

Republican state Rep. Steve Scalise of Metairie, the chief sponsor the proposition, called the results "a huge mandate that the people want to protect marriage."

However, gay rights advocates have said they plan to fight the amendment in court, pointing out irregularities in New Orleans, where approximately 20 percent of the 442 precincts had no voting machines at the start of the vote, and some polls did not open until mid-afternoon.

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