Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Too Few U.S. House Plug Nasties

Down in D.C., there aren't enough anti-gay/anti-civil-rights Representatives to advance an amendment banning same-sex marriage. Today, the 236 to 187 vote in favor of discrimination was 47 short.

The House needed a two-thirds majority. Last month, the Senate was proportionately shorter at 49 to 48 for the amendment.

The bill to advance the amendment is HJ Res 88, which reads:
Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, 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.
Today's vote was legislatively meaningless, but say much of the Republican majority's anti-rights politicking. An amendment sponsor, Colorado Republican (no duh!)Marilyn Musgrave made it plain. "The overwhelming majority of the American people support traditional marriage. And the people have a right to know whether their elected representatives agree with them."

This is very similar to the Massachusetts anti-SSM pushers' attitude. The hope seems to be that voters will take a ring through the nose and be led to oust those liberal rascals who would extend civil rights to gay couples. That worked in the last Presidential election, but backfired in Massachusetts where the Democrats picked up seats and three anti-gay legislators lost their seats.

The likelihood of this federal-level amendment passing both houses and then getting ratified by 38 states is next to none. That does not seem to be the aspiration or aim though. Republicans just want to manipulate enough voters to stay in power. They're betting that those voters who still fear gays will do that again.

Our U.S. Rep. Barney Frank put the issue in plain and personal terms when addressing the Rules Committee Republican. "I do not understand what motivates you. I don't tell you who to love."

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