Majority Tyranny v. Minority Rights


A great paradox of the 2008 federal election in which the first African American was elected President is that three states passed referenda to amend their respective state constitutions to prohibit same-sex couples from marrying and Arkansas passed a referendum to preclude unmarried couples from adopting or fostering children. Eighteen states allow their constitutions to be amended through ballot initiatives without consent by the legislative and/or executive branches. The remaining states enable their constitutions to be amended by the public after legislative and/or executive action. Some states require majority approval and others mandate voter approval ranging from 60% to two thirds approval.