"Sixteen other states have also amended their constitutions in the same manner."
- Sen. Dyson
The topic of same-sex marriage gained national attention in November of 2003, when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to prevent same-sex couples from obtaining legal marriage. Soon after, Massachusetts began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and a few localities have done the same, although without the same degree of legal "authority" as in Massachusetts.
With looming uncertainty regarding full faith and credit applied to these same-sex marriages in other jurisdictions, many state legislatures and/or citizen initiatives responded with efforts to enshrine the traditional and significantly popular definition of marriage as that constituted by one man and one woman.
Alaska had acted on this issue in the late 1990's. On the 1998 general election ballot, nearly 70% of voting Alaskans supported amending the Alaska Constitution to declare that, to be valid, a marriage must involve one man and one woman. Sixteen other states have also amended their constitutions in the same manner.
SJR 10 urges the United States Congress to pass Senate Joint Resolution 1, which defines marriage in the United States to consist of the union of one man and a woman. If passed, S. J. Res. 1 will amend the United States Constitution, once ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states.