Anti-gay marriage amendment defeated in U.S. House

Troy Espera | July 13, 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted against a constitutional gay marriage ban, giving added momentum to marriage equality advocates in their ongoing work to defeat state-level marriage legislation that will appear on ballots in a number of states in November.

The 236-187 vote for the proposal to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman was 47 short of the two-thirds majority needed to advance a constitutional amendment. It followed six weeks after the Senate also decisively defeated the amendment, a top priority of social conservatives.

With this federal-level victory, supporters of gay marriage say they are now shifting gears from fighting the amendment to educating about the critical need for marriage equality, why it�s good for families and for the nation.

"The fact that this even came up for debate is yet another example of too many legislator�s misplaced priorities or worse – election year pandering," said Jody M. Huckaby, PFLAG's executive director, in a media statement issued Tuesday. "The bottom line is that Americans are facing issues that need attention – skyrocketing gas prices, international tensions, and environmental issues, to name just a few. Working towards enshrining discrimination into our Constitution doesn�t make the list of things they want done."

But according to The Associated Press, supporters said the vote will make a difference when people got to the polls in November.

"The overwhelming majority of the American people support traditional marriage," said Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo., sponsor of the amendment, in an AP report. "And the people have a right to know whether their elected representatives agree with them."

The marriage amendment is part of the "American values agenda" the House is taking up this week that includes a pledge protection bill and a vote on President Bush's expected veto of a bill promoting embryonic stem cell research. Bush has asked, and social conservatives demanded, that the gay marriage ban be considered in the run-up to the election. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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