Hoadley hits the state campaign trail

Hoadley hits the state campaign trail
Vermillion native Jon Hoadley has been busy for months now, hitting the campaign trail as the November general election in South Dakota approaches.

Hoadley, however, isn't out to win a political office.

His goal is to see that South Dakotans are well-educated about one of the many issues on this year's state election ballot.

In turn, he hopes those voters will reject the measure.

Hoadley's sites are on Constitutional Amendment C. If it is approved in November, it would change the state constitution to allow marriage only between a man and a woman. State law already prohibits gay marriage.

Hoadley says its easy for people to simply identify the measure as "the gay marriage amendment.

"The reason we educate against using that term is it's misleading to voters," he said, "since if you vote either way, yes or no, gay people still can't get married in South Dakota.

"We aren't actually voting on gay marriage. We're voting on Amendment C," Hoadley said, "which is basically a two-sentence amendment."

The first sentence, he said, reaffirms what already is stated in statute law, that marriage is between a man and a woman.

"So even if Amendment C is defeated, that statute law exists, so gay people still can't get married (in South Dakota)," Hoadley said.

The problem with Amendment C, he said, lies with its second sentence, which asks voters to radically change the state constitution.

"It's asking us to put in the term 'quasi-marital' and asks us to bans quasi-marital relationships," he said. "The problem with that is there is no definition. It forces judges to decide what laws or benefits have an affect similar to marriage, and then deny them to all non-married people, gay or straight."

Amendment C doesn't specifically define the various aspects of quasi-marital, so South Dakota would be forced to look to other states that have approved similar measures, should the state voters approve the constitution change.

"Every single place that has passed a two-sentence amendment has had a lot of problems," Hoadley said.

Ohio voters have passed a measure prohibiting a similar union to marriage.

"Judges in Ohio who were hearing domestic violence cases were forced to rule that the abusers couldn't be charged with the same violations you would use in a domestic violence case involving a married couple," Hoadley said.

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