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American Civil Liberties Union

JUNE 7, 2006
12:10 PM

CONTACT: American Civil Liberties Union

ACLU Applauds Senate for Rejecting Discriminatory Constitutional Amendment, Says House Must Also Reject President’s Anti-Gay Agenda

WASHINGTON - June 7 - As the Senate failed to limit debate on the Federal Marriage Amendment today, the American Civil Liberties Union applauded the legislators for effectively rejecting the discriminatory proposal, and called on the House of Representative to do the same.  By a vote 49 to 48, the Senate failed, once again, to garner the 60 votes necessary to invoke cloture, a procedural move that would limit floor discussion and bring the measure to a vote. 

“The failure to close debate on the Federal Marriage Amendment is a clear sign that Congress is not bending to the will of the president,” said Caroline Fredrickson, the Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office.  “The Bush administration’s transparent and desperate appeal to its conservative base is both shameless and shameful.  Though President Bush seems intolerant of gay and lesbian Americans and their families, we must be vigorous and generous in countering his message with one of tolerance and equality. Using one group of Americans as a divisive political ploy is disgraceful.”

The last time the Senate voted on the amendment was in 2004, when it failed to cut off debate by a vote of 48-50.  This year, as in the past, the amendment not only failed to pick up enough votes to cut off debate – it failed even to pick up the votes of a majority of the Senate and it fell far short of the two-thirds vote necessary to approve a constitutional amendment.  

“The fact that proponents of the amendment could not even rouse a simple majority on a procedural vote is good news,” said Legislative Counsel Christopher Anders.  “In a Senate with four more Republicans than during the last vote in 2004, supporters of the Federal Marriage Amendment  picked up only one vote.  At this pace, advocates of the amendment will not be able to reach a two-thirds majority until at least 2042.  It’s time for President Bush to pull the plug on this discriminatory amendment.” 

For more on the ACLU’s fight against the Federal Marriage Amendment, go to:


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