Left: Supporters of ban vow not to give up; photo courtesy AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta
(Washington, DC) A constitutional ban on same-sex marriage failed to pass the US Senate today by a vote of 49-48, 11 votes shy of the 60 needed to force the proposal to a final vote.
Proposed amendments to the Constitution require the support of two-thirds of the members of the House and Senate - 67 votes in the Senate - and then passage by three-fourths, or 38, of the 50 state legislatures.
Supporters of the Marriage Protection Amendment said that the vote reflected growing support among senators and average Americans.
"We're building votes," said Sen. David Vitter, (R-LA). "That's often what's required over several years to get there, particularly to a two-thirds vote."
Democrats said that the debate was a divisive political ploy.
"The Republican leadership is asking us to spend time writing bigotry into the Constitution," said Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA). "A vote for it is a vote against civil unions, against domestic partnership, against all other efforts for states to treat gays and lesbians fairly under the law."
Meanwhile, the Middle East remains a powder keg, budget deficits sink us further into debt, the nation's borders are porous sieves, our health care system is in shambles, and American jobs continue to be outsourced to distant lands.
The backers of this amendment are wasting the time and money of the American taxpayers with this cheap farce. Senators: get back to work on the real issues that we collectively face, and quit insulting our intelligence.