Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



Senate Kills Marriage Amendment on Procedural Vote
by Bob Roehr

This article shared 3727 times since Wed Jun 7, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

The US Senate defeated a procedural motion to close off debate on the Marriage Protection Amendment ( MPA ) by a vote of 49 to 48; 60 votes are required for cloture. That effectively kills the amendment for this session of Congress.

The Senate last voted on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in July 2004 when it declined to cut off debate by a vote of 48 to 50.

Most observers anticipated that because of Republican gains in the Senate the vote would have increased. It did not, in part because Sens. Arlen Specter ( Pennsylvania ) and Judd Gregg ( New Hampshire ) joined five other Republicans and 41 Democrats in voting no.

Both votes are well short of the 67 votes needed to pass a constitutional amendment. Several Republican Senators who voted for cloture have said they are opposed to the substance of the amendment.

'President Bush and the Republican leadership gambled their dwindling political capital on a discriminatory amendment and came up empty,' said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign. 'With the additions of Senators Specter and Gregg, not only did every senator who voted against discrimination in 2004 stand with us today, but momentum is on the side of equality.'

'The US Senate gave a resounding defeat to the voices of intolerance who are trying to use the Constitution as a political tool,' said Patrick Guerriero, president of Log Cabin Republicans. 'Momentum is on our side as a growing conservative force stands up in defense of the core American valsue of equality, liberty, and federalism.'

National Stonewall Democrats interim executive director Jo Wyrick noted that all but two Democratic Senators voted no. 'Democrats understand that this false debate was designed as a divisive, destructive political maneuver on the part of Republican operatives.'


The Senate debate kicked off on Monday afternoon, June 5, with social conservative Republican advocates proclaiming the end of the institution of marriage and in fact Western civilization if gays were allowed to marry—despite evidence to the contrary from the experience in Massachusetts and a handful of nations around the world.

Most Senate Democrats eagerly embraced the definition of marriage as only between a man and a woman, but then said that since the MPA wasn't going to pass, bringing it up was divisive, a distraction from the laundry list of things they would like to do.

But mixed among the rhetoric were some thoughtful comments on the subject of same-sex relations that largely were absent during the Senate debate two years ago.

Sen. Arlen Specter called the MPA 'a solution in search of a problem' and vowed to vote against it. He said, the courts that have ruled in favor of same-sex marriage largely have based their decisions on state constitutions, and the Supreme Court has said that marriage is a matter for the states.

As chairman of the Judiciary Committee he had moved the MPA to the floor because he believes that such issues should not be bottled up in committee.

Sen. Patrick Leahy ( D-Vermont ) , the ranking Democrat on that committee, defended same-sex civil unions in his state. They had brought 'no ensuing crisis in the lives of Vermont,' a state that has 'one of the lowest divorce rates in the country.'

He thought it odd that the Bush administration, which has proclaimed the MPA a priority, never bothered to testify at any of the many hearings held on the amendment, or even bother to submit comments in writing.

Virginia Republican John Warner was quietly eloquent in opposing the MPA as currently written. He firmly supported the first sentence defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

"The second sentence gives me grave concern." MPA supporters have said that it allows states to enact civil unions and domestic partnership legislation; "If this is the case, why not simply say so...If we wrote the second sentence plainly, we wouldn't need a box chart" to explain it, which supporters had used earlier in the debate. He called it "unnecessarily vague and could trample on the rights of the states."

'The Constitution has been a historic guarantee of individual freedom,' said Russ Feingold ( D-Wisconsin ) . 'Gay and lesbian Americans consider this an amendment to make them permanent second class citizens.'

He asked the question, do we really want to 'alter the basic framework of our federalism' by making marriage, traditionally an area of state jurisdiction, now a matter of national law? He answered in the negative.

John McCain ( R-Arizona ) echoed that in his opposition to the MPA. He thought it particularly important to keep family law the province of that level of government that was closest to the people.

'Gay and lesbian couples deserve the same rights as other couples,' said Sen. Ted Kennedy in defending same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. He cited the US Supreme Court decision of Loving v. Virginia, which struck down laws banning interracial marriage, as saying that 'marriage is a civil right.'

'Religious freedom is under attack' by the MPA, said Kennedy. It would prohibit churches that now recognize same-sex marriage from doing so, which is an intolerable imposition of the state into religious matters. He called for distinguishing 'between the religious and civil aspects of marriage' so as not to deny the 14 million child with a gay parent the legal protections of marriage.

Mark Dayton ( D-Minnesota ) who is retiring from the Senate, lay into the MPA as 'un-American, un-Christian, and unnecessary.' It is not marriage that needs to be saved as amendment proponents argue, rather, 'It is the Constitution that needs to be saved from them.'

Dayton said he reread the New Testament and found not a single word about same-sex relations, yet he found 6 prohibitions against divorce and 12 admonitions against adultery. 'I am not aware of any constitutional amendment to ban them.'

He called discrimination against GLBT people 'vicious, ugly, and cruel. It is immoral and should be illegal…What we ought to do is leave marriage up to god' and redefine the civil side of the equation.

'The fact that two gay people want to take care of each other for the rest of their lives doesn't threaten my marriage,' said Barbara Boxer ( D-California ) . 'The divorce rate in the military has doubled in the last two years;' if we want to do something for marriage, we should bring the troops back fro Iraq.

This article shared 3727 times since Wed Jun 7, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Gay News

WORLD Japanese poll, Sydney Mardi Gras, mpox, rugby study, soccer player 2023-02-19
- Sixty-four percent of respondents to a Kyodo News poll believe same-sex marriage should be recognized in Japan, the media outlet noted. In the telephone survey, 88.4% also said recent remarks hostile to LGBTQ+ people by a ...

Gay News

Gay Calif. lawmakers introduce Prop 8 repeal 2023-02-14
- On Valentine's Day, two gay California lawmakers introduced a constitutional amendment to repeal Prop 8—the state's same-sex marriage ban that remains on the books despite being ruled unconstitutional years ago, according to The Bay Area Repo ...

Gay News

WORLD Church of England, Japanese officials, Hong Kong ruling, drag kings 2023-02-11
- The Church of England has voted to bless same-sex marriages for the first time in its history; however, its ban on conducting ceremonies will stay in place, PinkNews reported. It was approved after a six-year consultation ...

Gay News

WORLD Indian marches, delegation in Cuba, anti-LGBTQ+ investigation 2023-01-15
- Hundreds of people took part in the first Delhi Queer Pride march in three years as pressure grows for legal recognition of same-sex marriage in India, The Manila Times noted. In March, the South Asian's top ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Testifying in D.C., Brittney Griner, marriage law, school policies 2022-12-18
- WARNING: This week's news contains graphic content. Survivors of the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs that killed five people and injured approximately 20 others joined GLAAD and other advocates in providing testimony before the House ...

Gay News

Cook County's Kevin Morrison attends signing of Respect for Marriage Act at the White House 2022-12-13
-- From a press release - Washington D.C. — December 13thth 2022 — Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison attended the signing of the historic Respect for Marriage Act recently passed by both chambers of congress. The bill guarantees the federal rights ...

Gay News

With President Biden's signature, Respect for Marriage Act is law 2022-12-13
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — celebrated today as President Biden signed the Respect ...

Gay News

President Biden signs Respect for Marriage Act into law; groups and leaders respond 2022-12-13
-- From press releases - In response to President Biden signing the Respect for Marriage Act into law, groups and leaders release statements. ...

Gay News

Respect for Marriage Act passage important step but not equity says LGBTQIA+/ally Catholic group 2022-12-09
-- From a press release - Dec. 8, 2022. DignityUSA, the nation's foremost organization of Catholics working for justice, equality, and full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people in our church and society, is pleased that both houses of Congress have now passed the ...

Gay News

Groups and leaders celebrate passage of the Respect for Marriage Act 2022-12-08
-- From press releases - U.S. Representative Mike Quigley: Washington, D.C.— Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), Vice-Chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, released the following statement celebrating the passage of ...

Gay News

Congress passes Respect for Marriage Act, sends to President Biden for signature 2022-12-08
-- From a press release. Video below - (New York, NY - December 8, 2022) — GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act in the U.S. ...

Gay News

WORLD Japan ruling, Kenya groups, World Cup, Almodovar 2022-12-04
Video below - A district court in the Tokyo Prefecture ruled that Japan's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is legal, according to The Washington Blade. In a statement to Reuters, plaintiffs' attorney Nobuhito Sawasaki said, "This is actually a ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Trans officials, marriage equality, Karl Schmid, Pelosi, Buttigieg 2022-12-04
Video below - Once all of the newly elected officials are seated, there will be nine transgender state legislators (up from eight this year) and nine non-binary state legislators across the country, NBC News noted, citing The Victory Institute. ...

Gay News

Landmark step toward equality: Senate passes bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act 2022-11-29
-- From press releases - WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — today celebrated the bipartisan passage of the Respect ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Respect for Marriage Act, lesbian judge, gay official resigns 2022-11-20
- Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said that debate on the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA) is suspended and will continue on Nov. 28, when the Senate reconvenes after Thanksgiving, LGBTQ Nation reported. The RFMA ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.