.- In addition to voting for president, voters in 11 states will decide today whether to impose constitutional bans on same-sex marriage.
Close to one-fifth of the electorate will be voting in a state same-sex marriage referendum. According to pollsters, most of the bans are expected to win approval.
Campaigns supporting the amendments were heavily supported and funded by churches.
Every Catholic diocese in Michigan contributed to the marriage-amendment campaign. In Georgia, Catholic bishops have urged parishioners to vote for the amendment. In Utah, the Mormon church has come out strongly in favor of heterosexual marriage.
National gay-rights groups have spent large sums of money in advertising and campaigning in several states to counter the strong religious campaign, but polls indicate that the electorate is not in their favor.
Recent polls showed support for the amendments at 76 percent in Oklahoma and Kentucky, 65 percent in Arkansas, 60 percent or more in Michigan, 59 percent in Montana and 57 percent in Ohio.
The 11 ballot measures result from a backlash to the court ruling almost a year ago that made Massachusetts the only state with legalized same-sex marriage.
Legislators and citizens' groups are seeking protection from such rulings in their states by placing proposed constitutional amendments on today’s ballots. The amendments would limit marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
The proposed amendments in Mississippi, Montana and Oregon refer only to marriage. Those in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah would ban civil unions as well.