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Posted at 12:41 PM ET, 03/25/2010

Move to stop D.C. same-sex marriages rejected

By Washington Post editors

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, D.C. Wire reports.

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

GOP Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine joined all the Democrats who voted against 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.

By Washington Post editors  | March 25, 2010; 12:41 PM ET
Categories:  DC  
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It seems as though the Senate doesn't care what voters in D.C. would say. Is democracy the price of the social justice cause?

Posted by: Daniel84 | March 25, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Daniel84 (and anyone else expecting a voter referendum on gay marriage), I respectfully submit that voters should not have the power to determine civil liberties of minorities. Let's look at another social fight over the rules of marriage.

When the CA Supreme Court legalized interracial marriage in 1948, 90% of Americans opposed it. By 1958, 94% of Americans disapproved of marriages between interracial couples. In 1967, when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized marriage equality for interracial couples on a nationwide level, 72% still opposed it. It wasn't until 1994 that these people were in the minority for the first time with 41% opposing and 45% approving. Thank God we have a constitution and a judicial and legislative branches of government to set us right when we make mistakes.

1948 figure from Gail Mathabane, "Gays face same battle interracial couples fought," USA Today, 2004-JAN-25.

Posted by: dalezy | March 25, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse


The Senate amendment didn't say DC voters can't vote on the marriage rights of a minority, but three courts have. The Senate Amendment merely was an attempt to stop same-sex marriage before it could be voted on, not whether or not marriage equality could actually be voted on or not.

Posted by: jdavis115 | March 25, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Well said Dalezy.

In addition, if judges hadn't forced people to play nice desegregation would not have happened, Medicare would not have happened, blacks and women would not be able to vote, women could be legally raped by thier husbands, women would be stuck in the dark ages without rights to their own bodies...the list goes on...

It's simply not right to put anyone's personal life up to a popular vote. It's unconstitutional and bigot-driven at its very core.

Posted by: wfleming | March 25, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

It is very unfair to put the earned rights of a small minority up to a popular vote. Our constitution recognizes that. There's the "tricky" part of state vs. Federal. Prop 8 (CA) and Question 1 (Maine) were ammendments to their states constitutions, to ban gays from marrying. You have the power and $$ of homophobic and bigoted groups such as NOM, and the LDS church, to pass such discriminitory laws by fooling the public through dishonest television and radio ads. Such a shame.

Posted by: beegbolt | March 26, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

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