The US House of Representatives has failed to pass a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex civil marriage. Even though the outcome was predicted, the right wing fundies wanted a vote on the amendment to serve as a homophobic litmus test of sorts. The amendment had already failed to pass the Senate earlier this year.
Opponents dismissed the proposal as both discriminatory and legislatively irrelevant because of the Senate vote. The measure is "all for the purpose of pandering to a narrow political base." said Rep. Tammy Baldwin, an openly gay Democrat from Wisconsin. "This hateful and unnecessary amendment is unworthy of our great Constitution."
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 same sex marriage ban be considered in the run-up to the election.
The White House, in a statement Tuesday, urged passage of the measure. "When activist judges insist on redefining the fundamental institution of marriage for their states or potentially for the entire country, the only alternative left to make the people's voice heard is an amendment of the Constitution."