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Defeated: Federal Marriage Amendment

The Senate voted 49 to 48 today to defeat the discriminatory Federal Marriage Amendment, an amendment that would have denied marriage to same-sex couples and seriously threatened civil unions and domestic partnerships. Thank you to all of you who took action here in Oregon--and beyond.

As expected, Sen. Ron Wyden voted against it, while Sen. Gordon Smith voted for this discriminatory measure.

Bryan Boyd, BRO Communications

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By Blogger Bill, at June 09, 2006 11:08 AM

A great editorial from the Boston Globe:

Gay marriage, so what?

June 6, 2006

AMERICA HAS much more to fear than gay marriage. So it was disappointing to hear President Bush's radio address on Saturday, and his speech yesterday, in which he defends marriage, scolds activist judges, and supports the Marriage Protection Amendment, which would change the Constitution by only allowing one man and one woman to wed.

``Government, by recognizing and protecting marriage, serves the interests of all," Bush said, noting that straight marriages provide a safe haven for children and a pillar for society.

One problem: Gay marriage isn't a real threat. In Massachusetts, married gay couples are not masterminding terrorist bombings. They are not refining weapons-grade uranium nor are they running up federal budget deficits. Married gay couples are not monitoring their fellow Americans' phone calls and e-mails. They haven't cut Medicaid. And they didn't put that doughnut hole in the middle of Medicare's new prescription drug program.

If there's anything to be said about two years of gay marriage in Massachusetts, it's congratulations to the couples and now back to our regularly scheduled conversations about ``American Idol " and ``The Sopranos."

As for the claim that gay marriage is hurting straight marriage: Where's the evidence? Straight marriages have flaws, from fights to extramarital (and largely heterosexual) affairs. But these problems predate gay marriage by centuries.

Government should be concerned about children. But the big threat they face is poverty, not gay marriage. Any serious defense of children has to include better physical and mental health care, stronger schools, increasing family incomes, and less exposure to crime and violence. Banning gay marriage would not accomplish any of these things.

Nonetheless, the Senate is scheduled to vote on the Marriage Protection Amendment this week. It will be a huffing, puffing bit of political theater that's tossed like a bone to social conservatives, because common knowledge is that the amendment won't go forward. There aren't enough votes to win the two-thirds majority needed -- in the Senate and the House -- to send the amendment on to the states. Three-quarters of them would then have to approve it before it could become part of the Constitution.

One small threat to straight marriage is each year's crop of hyped short marriages -- celebrities who wed for months, weeks, or days. The implicit and troubling assumption seems to be that marriage only has to last as long as the excitement does. But no one is calling for federal intervention into the lives of Jennifer Lopez or Eminem.

America needs effective government action to solve serious and life-threatening problems. Gay marriage isn't one of them.    



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