Thursday, June 08, 2006

Anti-marriage amendment fails

The Federal Marriage Amendment, better known as the National measure to stop gays from marrying amdnement, went down to a very quick defeat in the Senate. Much quicker than expected I think. Basically a proedural vote was held and it was defeated here by a 49 to 48 vote.

And there were some Senators who voted for the procedural measure who would have voted against the Amendment itself if it came to a vote. But now it won’t. This measure would have need 67 votes to pass as Constitutional amendments need 2/3rds support. It did not even receive a simply majority. In the 2004 vote it had the support of 48 Senators.

At the very least the Amendment has gained no support in the last two years. If anything support has eroded for it. Seven Republican Senators voted to defeat the amendment before it got to the floor but a dozen had voice opposition to the amendment itself. If their opposition was carried through, and a final vote held, the Amendment would have received in the range of 43 votes in support which would have been significant erosion from the vote in 2004.

Republican Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire had previously supported the Amendment. He was a yes vote in 2004. At the time he said the vote for gay marriage in Massachusetts would create chaos in marriage around the country. But he says that two years later he was wrong and that never happened. "The past two years have shown that federalism, not more federal laws, is a viable and preferable approach."

Republicans have vowed to bring the matter up for a vote in the House in spite of the defeat but this merely to give them something to use to try and bash Democrats over the head with and rally the Religious Right that controls the party. Meanwhile conservative leader Bill Bennitt says the matter is already over and gay marriage has won. It’s just a matter of time.

Bennett is interview by Jon Stewart here and Stewart skewers Bennett with relative ease. Bennett tries to defend the initiative but does a poor job of it and then concedes that gay marriage has already won the battle and it is now only a matter of time. Watch the full interview with Bennett below.