The vote was 227-186, 49 votes shy of the two-thirds needed for approval of an amendment that President Bush backed but the Senate had previously scuttled.
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I don't really understand American politics... does this mean that Bush can't stop gay marriage, or that they might later?
I'll always be.... yours fatally....
Bush can't techniacally make any laws or amend the constitatuion...that is the job of congress. If he doesn't like one he can veto it, that's about it. Individual states can, however, amend their own constitutions to whatever they want...like banning gay marriage.
~If we were all the same, life would be boring
I was just in Oregon a while back, and they have their own state-level anti-gay marriage amendment in the works, currently in the form of Ballot Measure 36. It's advertised by these billboards that just say "YES ON 36: ONE MAN, ONE WOMAN," which I was not too pleased to see in a place like Eugene.
Unfortunately, a lot of people are predicting that it'll pass, because most of the previous anti-gay ballot measures (usually initiated by the Pat Robertson-funded Oregon Citizens' Alliance, or OCA), such as one that would have banned openly gay people from teaching in public schools, have lost by only a small margin.
"Sometimes a little brain damage helps."
-- George Carlin
Yeah, Bush doesn't actually have the power to make an amendment. However, he is in a powerful position for giving or taking away support for one thing or another. If any of the supreme court judges retire or die, he gets to appoint a new one. Therefore, if a gay marriage amendment passes, and there are more socially conservative judges on the court, they would be less likely to strike it down as unconstitutional. Also, unlike democrats, who tend to be largely unorganized (like me) and also tend to disagree with each other a lot on all sorts of issues (like me again), republicans (for the most part, but by no means all) tend to vote along the same lines as each other for everything. Usually, if the president backs something, such as a gay marriage amendment, and it comes up in the Senate and the House, representatives and senators who are republicans and not strictly AGAINST the amendment (i.e. unsure, undecided, don't care), might vote for it simply because, organized, they have more say than divided, or there might be another bill that moderate republicans want passed that they need extreme right-wing support for. It's all a matter of how an issue is perceived. If the president backs an bill or issue, even though he (or she, one day) cannot really do anything more than veto, his (or her) opinion matters a great deal in how everyday citizens, representatives, and senators vote.
Personally, I'm of the opinion that marriage is (and should be) a completely religious, non-governmental, non-legal matter. Marriage should be like a commitment ceremony, and defined by each individual church or whatever. And then all the legal benefits/responsibilities and stuff would be conferred upon a couple (no matter their genders) who register for a civil union. Then, heterosexual couples could get married without fear of "destroying the sanctity of marriage" (I still don't understand that . . . no one has been able to explain it to me), yet anyone could be a legally recognized couple with all the things that go along with being so, such as visitation rights, etc. Marriage is a religious thing. Right now, it is part of the legal system, meaning that effectively, on that subject, church and state are not separate, and it is creating a huge, unnecessary problem.
However, if it so happened that homosexual couples were allowed to wed under the present system. I would have no problem with that. For the most part, it's just an issue of discrimination based on sexual orientation. So YAY! for the defeat of the marriage amendment.
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