No one was surprised this morning when the Senate leadership’s push to write a ban on same-sex marriage into the U.S. Constitution lost on a procedural vote. The real question now centers on what impact this ridiculous exercise will have on the country.
My first thoughts are surprise over the fact that the anti-fairness lobby did not pick up the votes they expected to get. I swear that at one point I read that they were expecting as many as seven more votes, but I can’t seem to find the citation for that right now, so that might have been a hallucination.
It does appear, though, that the vote on the amendment was only one vote different then the last time it was run through the Senate. Oh, and when was that? What a shock! It was in 2004 -- the last time we had a national election.
The impact of this vote on the coming election remains to be seen. Stay tuned for further developments.
Meanwhile, for those of us who believe in fairness and equality and in not writing discrimination into any constitution, we have our work cut out for us.
We can win this debate. I suspect that we can even go much farther then simply keeping a marriage ban out of the U.S. Constitution. Public opinion is slowly swinging our way, particularly on the issue of civil unions. Eventually, I suspect we can even win the right for same-sex couples to marry.
We may well win in the courts, although that certainly seems less likely with the conservative majority that is now on the U.S. Supreme Court. However, any court victory will ultimately prove to be empty if we cannot win the support of the majority of voters. To do that, we have to borrow an idea from fundamentalists who won political power by fighting for it precinct by precinct.
We have to do the work on the ground of educating and organizing our neighbors. We can do it. I’ve seen us make a great start at that task here in
Meanwhile, we get to look forward to the U.S. House going through the same pointless (except in a political way) exercise in July.