MONTGOMERY, Ala. The first bill passed in both the Alabama Senate and the House in the new legislative session is a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages. The Senate passed the constitutional amendment without a dissenting vote this afternoon. And then the House approved an identical measure 35-to-7 tonight. But before the issue can go before Alabama voters, the House must approve the Senate's version or the Senate must pass the House's version.
Both versions of the constitutional amendment would put the referendum at the next state election that is scheduled. The Senate sponsor, Hinton Mitchem, says he'd like to have a special election in September. If there is no special election, the issue would be on the primary election ballot in June 2006.