House of Representatives Rejects Move to Write Discrimination Into the Constitution

The House of Representatives today voted to reject the Federal Marriage Amendment with a vote of 236 to 187 with one member voting present -- 47 votes short of the two thirds of those present and voting needed to pass a constitutional amendment. As in the Senate vote last month, more Representatives cast votes against the amendment than in 2004, despite the fact that Republicans increased their majority in both houses. People For the American Way president Ralph G. Neas released the following statement:

“Over the last few years, a lot of things have been said about this amendment, but today actions speak louder than words. The movement to put discrimination in the Constitution has no traction. This vote is proof of that.

“In 2004 we won a decisive victory. This year we did even better. As much as the extreme, anti-gay right would like to convince us that this is a pressing national issue, the facts say otherwise. Wasting time debating a constitutional amendment to permanently deny the protections of marriage to same-sex couples isn’t a priority -- it isn’t in our country’s interest at all. America doesn’t want this amendment to be a part of the Constitution, and today we can say with greater certainty that it never will be.

“The Federal Marriage Amendment would have weakened marriage and broken up families across the country. It would have infringed on the religious freedoms of every house of worship by limiting the kinds of marriages they are allowed to perform and would have written discrimination into our founding document. The fact that there are even more votes against the amendment this time around goes to show that more and more people have come to understand this.

“We applaud the Representatives of both parties who stood up against this amendment.”

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