WASHINGTON - June 7 - Today's Senate derailment of the Federal Marriage Amendment is a good thing, but the floor vote never should have taken place, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
The amendment, S.J. Res. 1, failed on a 49-48 procedural vote. Sixty votes were necessary to bring the measure to the floor.
"This vote was election-year politics at its worst," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. "I'm glad the amendment was derailed, but it never should have been voted on. This vote was nothing but ammo for attack ads.
"Playing politics with the Constitution is disgraceful," Lynn continued.
Lynn noted that James Dobson's Focus on the Family Action is already running ads attacking 15 senators who fail to conform to Dobson's agenda. The ads show a sad-looking boy and feature the headline, "Why doesn't Senator (senator's last name here) believe every child needs a mother and a father?"
"This is pure demagoguery," said Lynn. "Dobson and his Religious Right cronies are playing the worst kind of hardball politics."
The so-called "Marriage Protection Amendment" would revise the U.S. Constitution to mandate that marriage "shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman." Americans United charged that the measure is a Religious Right-inspired effort to write the majority faiths' marriage doctrines and rituals into the Constitution.