Continuing a national trend, voters in Kansas overwhelmingly approved amending the state constitution in order to ban homosexual marriage.

The April 5 measure passed 70 percent to 29 percent. While the margin of victory was similar to those in Hawaii, Nevada, and Missouri, the Kansas amendment goes further than those efforts. It prevents Kansas from acknowledging Vermont-style civil unions for gay couples.

Terry Fox, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Wichita, helped lead the drive. Fox said Christians throughout the state united to support the amendment. "I think one of the keys to our success was the coming together of [evangelicals]," Fox said. "Then we got the support of the Catholic Church, and overall we had 1,200 churches behind this."

Fox had lobbied the Kansas legislature last spring to put the amendment on the November ballot. In May it fell five votes short in the House.

In approving the measure, Kansas becomes the 18th state since 1998 to define marriage as solely between one man and one woman. At least five other states—Alabama, Massachusetts, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Wisconsin—are scheduled or likely to put similar measures on the ballot in 2006. In April, Oregon's high court invalidated 3,000 marriage licenses issued to homosexual couples.

Despite Kansas's lopsided vote to ban gay marriage, the leaders of two national organizations said federal courts will check such measures.

Matt Daniels, president of the Alliance for Marriage, which opposes homosexual marriage, said, "I absolutely guarantee you that the federal courts and the Supreme Court will strike down marriage laws." Daniels said that federal judges and supporters of same-sex marriage are trying "to subvert popular opinion through the courts." ...

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