The US Senate just voted 48-50 on a procedural motion to bring the Federal Marriage Amendment to a vote. Though virtually all Republicans and Democrats agreed the bill had no chance of achieving the super-majority needed for passage, the symbolic denial of a majority to those who wish to encode discrimination into our constitution is significant.
Though I support gay marriage in general and thus would oppose any law or statute designed to bar it, the FMA should be abhorrent even to conservatives. At the very least, the amendment should restrict itself to federal definition and federal courts, leaving the ultimate decision on what marriage is to the individual states. That would be consistent with Conservative notions of federalism and states rights, as well as allowing the people to decide how their community wants to view this sacred contract. But the FMA, by imposing its dogma on both the federal government AND the states, violates these tenets and showcases the hypocrisy of the modern Republican party.
Republicans who voted against the cloture motion:
John McCain (AZ), Ben Nighthorse Campbell (CO), John Sunnunu (NH), Susan Collins (ME), Olympia Snowe (ME), and Lincoln Chaffee (RI). Independent Jim Jeffords (VT) also voted against the motion.
Democrats who voted for the cloture motion:
Ben Nelson (NE), Zell Miller (GA), Robert Byrd (WV)