The US Senate is debating a constitutional amendment this week to prohibit gay and lesbian marriage, and the House is expected to consider the ban later this summer. It is unlikely that the amendment will pass and it has been widely acknowledged that the focus on this issue by the Bush Administration and conservative Republicans is a political ploy intended to bolster conservative support in an election year.
Some moderate Republicans and all Democratic Senators, with the exception of Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, oppose the amendment, according to the Associated Press (AP). “A vote for this amendment is a vote for bigotry pure and simple,” Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) said of the amendment, reports the AP.
“It is unconscionable that with a perilous war, a sinking economy, and a failing health and education system, President Bush and Republican leaders in Congress would focus attention on this divisive amendment that demonizes lesbian and gay people,” said Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “The purpose of this amendment is not to protect marriage as the proponents suggest, but rather to cheapen the constitution and to forever bar States from providing even the most basic protections and security to lesbian and gay relationships and families.”