Antigay constitutional amendment fails to get two-thirds majority
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives failed to pass a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage Thursday, the latest in a string of conservative pet causes pushed to a vote in the run-up to Election Day. The final vote was 227 in favor of the amendment, and 186 opposed, which fell 63 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass a constitutional amendment.
"God created Adam and Eve; he didn't create Adam and Steve," said Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) on behalf of a measure that supporters said was designed to protect an institution as old as civilization itself.
But even among majority Republicans, the issue generated dissent.
Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) was the principal speaker on behalf of the measure, taking a role that is almost always reserved for the chairman of the committee with jurisdiction. In this case, though, the leadership bypassed the Judiciary Committee, and GOP officials said the panel's chairman, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) made clear he wanted no part of the debate. His spokesman did not immediately return a call on why he took that position