View Full Version : U.S. Senate vote soundly rejects gay marriage ban
06-08-2006, 05:49 AM
U.S. Senate vote soundly rejects gay marriage ban
Jun. 8, 2006. 01:00 AM
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Senate rejected a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage yesterday, delivering a stinging defeat to President George W. Bush and other Republicans who had hoped the issue would rally Republican voters for the November elections.
The senators' vote was 49-48 to limit debate and bring the amendment to a yes-or-no decision. That was 11 short of the 60 needed, killing the measure in the Senate for this year.
Bush suggested the ban was proper and its time would still come.
"Our nation's founders set a high bar for amending our Constitution and history has shown us that it can take several tries before an amendment builds the two-thirds support it needs in both houses of Congress."
But Democrats suggested it was all about conservative politics.
"Why is it Republicans are all for reducing the federal government's impact on people's lives until it comes to these stinging litmus test issues, whether gay marriage or end of life, they suddenly want the federal government to intervene?" asked Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat. "It makes no sense other than throwing red meat to a certain constituency."
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06-08-2006, 06:00 AM
Nation more accepting of gay marriage
By MARIANNE MEANS
WASHINGTON -- Things have come to a sorry pass when we have a president who doesn't trust our judicial system -- a system, by the way, he is energetically stuffing with cold-hearted, underqualified, pro-establishment conservative ideologues.
Disdain for court judgments was President Bush's theme as he pushed for a constitutional amendment to codify official discrimination against gay couples who want to legalize their relationship.
<font color="blue"> "Take this issue out of the hands of overreaching judges and put it back where it belongs -- in the hands of the American people," he thundered on Monday.</font color>
On the extreme method of outlawing gay marriage that he proposes, however, he does not speak for all the American people -- only about half of them. A Gallup poll last month found that while 50 percent of those surveyed favored an anti-gay constitutional amendment, 47 percent opposed it. Voters in 19 states have voted overwhelmingly to ban same-sex marriages, but placing the ban in the U.S. Constitution would take away local flexibility and cast it in concrete.
As the country grows accustomed to gay marriage and the republic does not fall, the trend is gradually more accepting.
This whole dodge about bad judges is, of course, just another effort by the gay-bashing crowd to distract voters from real issues Americans face.
Courts in seven states have concluded that outright bans on legalizing gay couples cannot stand.
And such a ban has no place in the nation's most sacred and fundamental document, as the president and the Republicans in the Senate well know.
<font color="blue"> Proposing an amendment is a cost-free stunt that takes a political stand without much danger of serious budgetary consequences. The Constitution has been amended only 27 times, but Bush is among the worst abusers. He has unsuccessfully backed seven amendments, including criminalizing abortion and flag burning. Those amendments mostly are designed to please his conservative religious base.</font color>
This is a subject that should be left to the states to regulate, as they have traditionally done. The argument that gay couples threaten traditional two-gender marriages is baloney. How does one marriage affect another? Men and women will always fall in love, regardless of what others do. Nobody can permanently program the human heart.
The Family Research Council and Focus on the Family, two conservative religious organizations, took out a half-page advertisement in Tuesday's USA Today denouncing Sens. John McCain and Hillary Clinton for "ignoring America on gay marriage." The ad notes that both support traditional marriage but oppose the constitutional amendment, claiming they would "leave the future of marriage in the hands of activist judges."
<font color="blue"> Fine. The "activism" of which the gay-bashers complain is the courts going about their job, upholding state constitutional equal rights and due process provisions. What some judges have found is that moral disapproval of a class is insufficient to sustain illegal discrimination where there is no other legitimate state interest.
And they have ruled that prohibiting same-sex marriage is not rationally related to the state interest in the rearing of biological children by married opposite-sex parents.</font color>
In 1996, Congress passed a "defense of marriage" act that lets states refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. So that old scare tactic about states with strong opposition to gay marriage being forced to accept such unions doesn't work.
The common sense solution to this kerfluffle would be to pass legislation guaranteeing that same-sex partners be given the same legal rights as heterosexuals. Vermont authorized civil unions.
That gives both partners legal and economic support, including such essentials as health benefits and hospital visitation rights. Much of the gay community doesn't want to settle for this, on the grounds that it sounds like a halfway status not as honorable as marriage.
Yet it is the word "marriage" that bothers many heterosexuals who are otherwise tolerant toward gender problems.
Vice President Dick Cheney and former House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt both love their gay daughters and defend them. This is not a partisan issue, and Senate Republicans should be ashamed for trying to make it one.
Bush has no business intervening, either. Legally, a president can do nothing but act as a cheerleader for a pending constitutional amendment -- that's up to Congress to pass and the state legislatures to ratify.
What the Republicans are up to here is no secret, forcing Democrats to vote on the issue in hopes of rallying the disgruntled conservative base in the fall election. But it is such an empty-headed waste of time that the posturing could backfire.
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06-08-2006, 02:09 PM
Too many senators are scared of the leftist nazis. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
06-08-2006, 05:03 PM
With all of the illegal, economical threatening realities of the immigration issues, and this clown in the whitehouse is worried about the minor fraction of same sex REAL Americans wishing to unite for the same umbrella protections given to customary married couples. All political BS, geared to divert attention away from his piss-poor abilities as a leader. What a joke we have in a commander in chief...sid
06-08-2006, 06:09 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sid_Vicious:</font><hr> All political BS, geared to divert attention away from his piss-poor abilities as a leader. <hr /></blockquote>
I disagree. I think it is designed to get back some of the votes that have been lost due to the insanity the senate has created with their assnine immigration bill. They know they lost a lot of support with that one, as did GW. This is something they knew wouldn't pass (Nobody in their right mind could think this belongs in the US Constitution!) but they can say they tried. It's a distraction, pure and simple.
06-09-2006, 06:33 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sid_Vicious:</font><hr> With all of the illegal, economical threatening realities of the immigration issues, and this clown in the whitehouse is worried about the minor fraction of same sex REAL Americans wishing to unite for the same umbrella protections given to customary married couples. All political BS, geared to divert attention away from his piss-poor abilities as a leader. What a joke we have in a commander in chief...sid <hr /></blockquote>
Sorry, Bush or no Bush, texas is not going to let you marry that guy. JK
Gayle in MD
06-09-2006, 07:16 AM
This is just another example of Republican pandering to the homophobic religious right in their efforts to legislatively dictate their illogical, divisive, ignorant, judgmental philosophies into the personal lives of others. What is so funny is that the divorce rate is highest among these same bible thumpers who are so threatened by same sex marriage. I can't remember a time in modern times when a political party tried to include discrimination into the Constitution, a document which is supposed to insure equal rights, not insight discrimination and hatred. I've been asking for year how same sex marriage threatens heterosexual marriage. So far, no one has been able to answer that question. /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif
Gayle in Md.
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