NEW YORK - July 18 -
Americans United for Separation of Church and State lauded today’s defeat of a federal marriage amendment in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The House voted 236 to 187 in favor of H.J.Res. 88, falling short of the two-thirds necessary to advance a constitutional amendment.
“The marriage amendment would have wedded religion and government, and we are delighted it failed to muster enough support in the House,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “This was an unwise attempt to enshrine in the Constitution one religious definition of marriage.”
Lynn noted that a similar amendment was defeated last month in the Senate, thereby making today’s vote irrelevant.
“This was nothing but political theater,” said Lynn. “The amendment was already dead for this session, following the Senate’s action in June. Today’s vote was a transparent effort by the House leadership to give members running for reelection something to distract voters from unpleasant realities such as the war and energy costs.”
The so-called “Marriage Protection Amendment” was introduced by Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.). It declares, “Marriage in the United States shall consist of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.”