Federal Marriage Amendment defeated before it got defeated

Religious conservatives knew that the Federal Marriage Amendment wouldn't get the 67 Senate votes it needed if it went up for a vote this week. But the surprise is that it won't get any votes. Only 48 senators voted to invoke cloture on the resolution, so there was no official vote on the constitutional amendment itself (60 votes were needed). Fifty senators voted against cloture, and John Kerry and John Edwards did not vote. (Sen. Rick Santorum looks on the bright side, saying he expected only 45 votes for cloture.)

Conservatives and Republicans will surely claim that Democrats' "no" votes on cloture suggest that these Senators are against the amendment—or, it will be suggested, against protecting the traditional family—but the senators have plenty of ammunition to refute that claim. Witness today's article in The Plain Dealer of Cleveland, which began, "Both of Ohio's U.S. senators are poised to vote today in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, they said, but both are hoping they don't have to."

"We've known from the beginning that this was going to be a long fight. What we didn't know was just how little regard Senators on the left would have for the American people's will on this issue," said Family Research Council president Tony Perkins. "The Senate's vote today has left the future of marriage in the hands of unelected judges, at least for the time being. This was just round one in the debate over marriage and now that it is over, we begin training for round two. Pro-family forces have benefited from the debate over the past few days in two ways: One, every time this issue is forced into the public square, the opposition to same-sex ...

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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