U.S. Senate Defeats Bush's Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment

Thu. July 15, 2004 12:00 AM by 365gay.com

Washington, D.C. - President Bush Thursday called yesterday's defeat of the Federal Marriage Amendment in the Senate only a temporary setback, and conservative Christian groups predicted the measure will return in the next session and pass.

"Activist judges and local officials in some parts of the country are not letting up in their efforts to redefine marriage for the rest of America, and neither should defenders of traditional marriage flag in their efforts," Bush said in a statement.

"It is important for our country to continue the debate on this important issue, and I urge the House of Representatives to pass this amendment."

The proposed amendment, championed by Bush, was killed for this session after a procedural vote to move the measure to the Senate floor for final consideration failed 48-50 -- 12 votes shy of the 60 required by Senate rules.

Six Republicans -- including Sen. John McCain of Arizona -- joined 43 Democrats and one independent to defeat the measure. Three Democrats and 45 Republicans voted for it.

"This is a long process," said Republican Sen. Wayne Allard of Colorado, sponsor of the amendment. "Nobody on our side, I think, ever felt for a minute that this was going to be a one-shot deal and it was going to be over with at that particular point in time."

Meanwhile, the House has taken up the proposed amendment with a vote expected before the November election. In the meantime it is considering several anti-gay marriage bills put forward by the GOP.

The Senate defeat is also being characterized as just an opening salvo by conservative Christians, the core base of the Republican Party.

"[We] are not distressed or defeated," said Focus on the Family founder James Dobson.

Dobson predicted the amendment will resurface in the next Congress and said his and other conservative groups will lobby for the election of :family friendly" candidates.

"We will make it our mission to let voters know how their senators came down on this crucial issue," Dobson said. "I am convinced they will remember in November."

"We know now which senators are for traditional marriage and which ones are not, and by November so will voters in every state," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. "This fight has just begun."

Both groups also said they will focus on states where constitutional amendments are being considered in November.

by Paul Johnson
365Gay.com Newscenter
Washington Bureau Chief
©365Gay.com® 2004

This article originally appeared on 365gay.com. Republished with permission.