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Senate rejects attempt to block D.C. same-sex marriage

In its first direct vote on the issue, the U.S. Senate has rejected an amendment to the health care reconciliation bill that would have stopped same-sex marriage in the District until a referendum could be held.

Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) had introduced that amendment; the full Senate rejected it early this morning by a vote of 59 to 36, with five members not voting.

GOP Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine joined all Democrats who voted in rejecting Bennett's amendment.

Their votes could be a sign that future efforts in the Senate to overturn the law will also be unsuccessful during the current Congress.

Some votes by Democrats this morning may have had more to do with efforts to keep the health care bill free of amendments than with same-sex marriage, meaning they could vote differently on this issue if it comes up in another fashion.

But Snowe and Collins, both of whom voted against the health care bill, appear to have based their votes against Bennett's amendment on principle.

Neither took a position on a referendum in Maine last year to overturn that state's same-sex marriage law. Snowe and Collins, both supporters of gay rights, also declined to tell reporters after the election how they voted on the referendum, which was narrowly approved.

Collins' stance on Bennett's amendment could be especially important because she is the ranking member on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has oversight over the District.

-- Tim Craig

By Tim Craig  |  March 25, 2010; 12:28 PM ET
Categories:  Tim Craig , same-sex marriage  
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If Bennett is so concerned about voters in DC having their say, he should be pushing for full voting representation in congress for DC.
but i guess he is just an anti-gay bigot obssessed with other peoples sex lifes and cares little for the concept of democracy unless he can use it to push his own hate-filled agenda.

Posted by: MarilynManson | March 25, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

If Bennett needs to establish his conservative "street cred" with his peeps back in Utah, I wish he would pick a better way. I don't appreciate the fact that he's doing it at the District's expense.

Posted by: redgrifn | March 25, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if most of those bigots even know what they were voting for. All they probably saw was 'define marriage' and 'people need to vote'. Those bigots probably have never even read the DC Charter, the DCHRA, or even care. Of course, their pinhead constituents will keep voting them in, much as Ward 8 keeps voting in Barry---

Posted by: Aimhigh2000 | March 25, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Homopbobia is intolerance which brings no benefit. Same-sex marriage is a right which must be accessible to all LGBT people in every state of the United States. Bob Bennett is a terrible member of Congress for trying to stop the recognition of same-sex marriages performed in Washington, D.C. Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and Democrats in the Senate did a good thing by making sure that the oppressive amendment be abandoned.

Posted by: LibertyForAll | March 25, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Didn't the Congress have a specified 30 days to review the new Marriage Equality law, and allow it to expire?

Do they then have the athority to go back and address laws madwe by States or the District of Columbia? Aren't Republicans always the ones supporting "States' Rights"?

Surely REPUBLICANS didn't attempt to re-involve themselves with States' Rights via Congressional Vote?
Say it ain't so???

Where can we see the voting register?

Posted by: customartist1500 | March 29, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

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