Same sex marriages prohibited
(a) It is declared to be the public policy of this state to recognize the union only of man and woman. Marriages between persons of the same sex are prohibited in this state.
(b) No marriage between persons of the same sex shall be recognized as entitled to the benefits of marriage. Any marriage entered into by persons of the same sex pursuant to a marriage license issued by another state or foreign jurisdiction or otherwise shall be void in this state. Any contractual rights granted by virtue of such license shall be unenforceable in the courts of this state and the courts of this state shall have no jurisdiction whatsoever under any circumstances to grant a divorce or separate maintenance with respect to such marriage or otherwise to consider or rule on any of the parties’ respective rights arising as a result of or in connection with such marriage.
(Georgia Code Ann. section 19-3-3.1)
The Georgia General Assembly, during the 2004 session passed SR 595 and it was subsequently approved by the voters on Nov. 2, 2004. Article I of the Constitution is amended by adding a new Section IV to read as follows:
Paragraph I. Recognition of marriage. (a) This state shall recognize as marriage only the union of man and woman. Marriages between persons of the same sex are prohibited in this state.
(b) No union between persons of the same sex shall be recognized by this state as entitled to the benefits of marriage. This state shall not give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other state or jurisdiction respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other state or jurisdiction. The courts of this state shall have no jurisdiction to grant a divorce or separate maintenance with respect to any such relationship or otherwise to consider or rule on any of the parties’ respective rights arising as a result of or in connection with such relationship.
Burns v. Burns, 560 S.E.2d 47 (Ga. Ct. App. 2002), certiorari denied (July 15, 2002)
This case arose in the context of a divorce and a consent order in which both parties agreed that they would not have the children visit or stay with either of them while that party cohabited with or had overnight stays with an adult to whom the party was not legally married. After obtaining a Vermont civil union license, the former wife cohabited with her civil union partner while having the children visit. The court held that the ex-wife violated the consent order because the Vermont civil union was not a marriage, and even if it were, Georgia would not recognize it.
This case seeks to enjoin the marriage amendment that was approved by the electorate on November 2, 2004.
This case argues that Georgia’s marriage amendment was passed in violation of single subject matter limitations and on other grounds.