Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Senatorial sanity on same-sex marriage

Ah, some good news from WaPo:

A constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, backed by President Bush and conservative groups, was soundly defeated in the Senate yesterday after proponents failed to persuade even a majority of Senators to support the measure.

But let's not give the Senate -- or at least the Republican side of it -- too much credit: The vote was 49-48 against the amendment. That's well short of "the two-thirds majority needed to pass a constitutional amendment" and even of "the 60 votes needed to cut off debate and bring the measure to a final vote," but, still, 48 senators voted for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

This is the key wedge issue once again this year, as I noted on Tuesday, and it isn't about to go away. The Republican Party is very much the party of puritanical moralism, of theocratic governance, and its candidates will use same-sex marriage, playing to the fears of the bigoted, to divide the country in heading into November. The amendment failed in the Senate, but its spirit will live on as long as desperate Republicans do whatever it takes to win, as long as they debase the very concept of freedom.

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