Skip to comments.Senate Scuttles Gay Marriage Amendment (Two no-shows. Care to guess?)
Posted on 07/14/2004 9:50:28 AM PDT by 11th Earl of MarEdited on 07/14/2004 10:13:18 AM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
WASHINGTON - The Senate dealt an election-year defeat Wednesday to a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, rejecting pleas from President Bush (news - web sites) and fellow conservatives that the measure was needed to safeguard an institution that has flourished for thousands of years.
The vote was 48-50, 12 short of the 60 needed to keep the measure alive.
"I would argue that the future of our country hangs in the balance because the future of marriage hangs in the balance," said Sen. Rick Santorum, a leader in the fight to approve the measure. "Isn't that the ultimate homeland security, standing up and defending marriage?"
But Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle said there was no "urgent need" to amend the Constitution. "Marriage is a sacred union between men and women. That is what the vast majority of Americans believe. It's what virtually all South Dakotans believe. It's what I believe."
"In South Dakota, we've never had a single same sex marriage and we won't have any," he said. "It's prohibited by South Dakota law as it is now in 38 other states. There is no confusion. There is no ambiguity."
Supporters conceded in advance they would fail to win the support needed to advance the measure, and vowed to renew their efforts.
"I don't think it's going away after this vote," Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said Tuesday on the eve of the test vote. "I think the issue will remain alive," he added.
Whatever its future in Congress, there also were signs that supporters of the amendment intended to use it in the campaign already unfolding.
"The institution of marriage is under fire from extremist groups in Washington, politicians, even judges who have made it clear that they are willing to run over any state law defining marriage," Republican senatorial candidate John Thune says in a radio commercial airing in South Dakota. "They have done it in Massachusetts and they can do it here," adds Thune, who is challenging Daschle for his seat.
"Thune's ad suggests that some are using this amendment more to protect the Republican majority than to protect marriage," said Dan Pfeiffer, a spokesman for Daschle's campaign.
At issue was an amendment providing that marriage within the United States "shall consist only of a man and a woman."
A second sentence said that neither the federal nor any state constitution "shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman." Some critics argue that the effect of that provision would be to ban civil unions, and its inclusion in the amendment complicated efforts by GOP leaders to gain support from wavering Republicans.
Bush urged the Republican-controlled Congress last February to approve a constitutional amendment, saying it was needed to stop judges from changing the definition of the "most enduring human institution."
Bush's fall rival, Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites) of Massachusetts, opposes the amendment, as does his vice presidential running mate, Sen. John Edwards (news - web sites) of North Carolina. Both men skipped the vote.
The odds have never favored passage in the current Congress, in part because many Democrats oppose it, but also because numerous conservatives are hesitant to overrule state prerogatives on the issue.
At the same time, Republican strategists contend the issue could present a difficult political choice to Democrats, who could be pulled in one direction by polls showing that a majority of voters oppose gay marriage, and pulled in the other by homosexual voters and social liberals who support it. An Associated Press-Ipsos poll taken in March showed about four in 10 support a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, and half oppose it.
Democrats said that Bush and Republicans were using the issue to distract attention from the war in Iraq (news - web sites) and the economy.
"The issue is not ripe. It is not needed. It's a waste of our time. We should be dealing with other issues," said Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut.
But Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee said a decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court had thrust the matter upon the Senate. The ruling opened the way for same sex marriages in the state, and Frist predicted the impact would eventually be far broader.
"Same-sex marriage will be exported to all 50 states. The question is no longer whether the Constitution will be amended. The only question is who will amend it and how will it be amended," he added.
He said the choice was "activist judges" on the one hand and lawmakers on the other.
Actually, I guess it was Edwards who spoke and didn't stay. Kerry didn't show up at all, so neither of them voted. That was why it was 48-50, rather than 48-52.
And anyone who disagrees will probably get banned.
The vote was a close 47-50 and your answer is to get rid of the whole party? Wouldn't it be easier to work at defeating the few pubs who voted against it?
We need a new political party. Rid us of this "Two-Party Cartel". Remember ALWAYS on substantial issues this cartel will make sure that conservative issues NEVER gets passed. I guarantee that if we don't rid ourselves of this cartel we will NEVER have these kinds of votes go our way - Guaranteed.
We need a new party for a lotta reasons. This is just one more.
Yes we very much do. I knew that way before this happened. I hope someone like Dobson, Roy Moore, or even Mel Gibson would run in 2008. Christian conservatives need to start building anew instead going down with the sinking ship. It's time for reflection and some hard choices.
"Who voted against it?"
More than those that voted for it. With 67 needed for passage, this was not even in the neighborhood of winning passage. But, the campaign issue got it's day in the sun.
67 votes were needed, not just a majority.
Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, opposes the amendment, as does his vice presidential running mate, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina. Both men skipped the vote.
You're so optimistic NOT! It may be too late this year, but these RINOs can be held to account in the future, especially primaries.
it's not up yet, but will be soon...
There goes the country.
Don't get me wrong, I'm happily voting for 43. But I still think we (Americans in general, not just Pubbies) need a new party.
here's your hard choice: President Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2008. any questions?
Correct. See post #21...
And 35 million homosexuals cheer - especially the 30 million who have no intention of, or interest in, ever getting "married". Satan is grinning and getting ready for the next attack on decent folks.
And may all those who took the mushy middle be the first to hear those words from their own children. Or better yet, may the kids stay silent until they come home a few years later announcing that they are gay. (I do not really wish that on ANY children. But since it WILL happen, may it happen to the children with parents who offered their complicity to this.)
Good news for the CONSTITUTION!
The Republicans can't even win on an issue that 75%-80% of the public agrees on.
mccain was one.
Fox news dropped the ball big time on this.
The reporting was amaturish at best. They failed to show that the states would then get this issue.
They failed to say the house had to vote on this.
Tooo many former NBC staffers at fox.
Tooo many women of wealsley.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.