Federal Marriage Amendment Gets Traction

Ugh. One moment of happy news about the two year anniversary of legal marriage for same sex couples in Massachusetts and then this unsettling news about movement on the Federal Marriage Amendment: it passed successfully through the Senate Judiciary Committee because of Senator Spector’s special efforts.
The process was explained in a newsletter I received on Friday from Joe Solmonese, the executive director of the Human Rights Campaign:
Blackberry buzz this week centered on the Federal Marriage Amendment’s movement in the Senate, the transparency when it comes to Sen. Frist’s political motivations in pushing the amendment forward and the brouhaha between Sens. Feingold and Specter over the bill’s cloak-and-dagger markup.
First, the Senate Judiciary Committee, which usually considers constitutional amendments before they head to the Senate floor for a vote, passed the amendment by a 10-8 vote along party lines in what’s called a committee markup.
These markups usually happen in public rooms. But Sen. Specter, who chairs the committee, moved the markup to a small room off the Senate floor, closed to the public, that didn’t even have enough seats for the Senators. Sen. Feingold, one of our strongest advocates and a supporter of marriage equality, made an impassioned argument against the amendment and against the secretive markup process.
Around the markup, press interest in the amendment became strong. Some notable comments this week came from conservative columnist George Will, who in a Washington Post op-ed reiterated his opposition to the amendment, and CNN’s Jack Cafferty, who yesterday railed against Sen. Frist for bringing this amendment forward.

If you haven’t already found a way to connect with your Senator or Representatives in Congress and explain your thoughts on this discriminatory amendment, we encourage you to do so. If you want a simple way to make your thoughts on the importance of not allowing discrimination to be added into our US Constitution, send a virtual postcard via HRC to take action.

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