There's a brouhaha in California over a ballot initiative that would amend the state constitution. The amendment would define marriage as a union between one man and one woman, but would also bar the state from bestowing any of the rights of marriage on unmarried persons. In other words, it would end domestic partnerships in California. The state's attorney general has included this information in the summary that will appear on the ballot, which has upset the proponents of the amendment:
"Instead of saying that it preserves marriage as the union of one man and one woman and prohibits any other kind of marriage that would be outside of that union," Staver explains, "[Lockyer's summary] essentially says that it is an amendment that is designed to eliminate all domestic partnerships and doesn't really talk about the issue of marriage." But because it is a marriage initiative, Staver contends that should be the essence of the ballot title and summary.
..."While the amendment does prohibit the state of California or its governmental agencies from issuing domestic partnerships, it does not prohibit private contractual rights," the attorney explains.