9 States Seek Tougher Gay Marriage Bans

Despite laws on the books already barring gay marriage, legislators in at least nine states are pushing for new, more sweeping measures in hopes of preventing any ripple effect from laws and court rulings elsewhere.

In most cases, Republican lawmakers in states with existing Defense of Marriage acts seek to go a step further by amending their constitutions to specify that marriage must be heterosexual. State Rep. Bill Graves, a bill sponsor in Oklahoma, wants to stipulate that same-sex unions are "repugnant to the public policy" of the state.

Supporters say the constitutional amendments are necessary to ensure that legislation and court judgments in other states - such as the recent ruling in favor of gay marriage by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court - will not compel recognition of same-sex unions in their own states.

Disallowing gay marriages -- as in religious sacraments -- is one thing. But I see no reason to discriminate against gay couple in civil unions. Religions can (and should be able to) do as they see fit. But the state should not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, bestowing rights and benefits on straight couples that are denied to gays. The issues are distinct, and too many people don't separate them. Or at least that's my opinion. Details from the AP here via Findlaw.com.