Log Cabin Applauds Resounding Defeat of Anti-Family Constitutional Amendment in U.S. Senate
Growing Conservative Opposition Helps Defeat Amendment for the Second Time in Two Years
(Washington, DC) – The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly rejected an anti-family constitutional amendment for the second time in two years. "The U.S. Senate gave a resounding defeat to the voices of intolerance who are trying to use the Constitution as a political tool," said Log Cabin President Patrick Guerriero. Momentum is on our side as a growing conservative force stands up in defense of the core American values of equality, liberty, and federalism."
"This vote shows growing momentum to defend our U.S. Constitution," said Guerriero. "Supporters of this amendment couldn't even get 50 Senators supporting the procedural vote. It's laughable to say this amendment is gaining support. It takes 67 votes to pass this amendment and more than half of the Senate has said they couldn't support this on an up or down vote."
As many as a dozen Republican Senators voiced reservations about the amendment. Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) led the Republican voices speaking out against this proposal. Quoting former GOP Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ), a staunch defender of federalism, Specter said, "Government ought to be kept off our backs, out of our pocketbooks and out of our bedrooms." Specter said, "This is a matter which ought to be left to the states."
Senator Specter is echoing other Republican opponents of this amendment including Vice President Dick Cheney, former Senator John Danforth (R-MO), columnist George Will, and many others. "More and more conservatives realize this amendment is a solution in search of a problem," said Guerriero. "States are perfectly capable of working through the ongoing debate about this important issue."
Conservative Senator John Warner (R-VA) also voiced his opposition to the amendment, even though he voted 'yes' on the procedural issue. He criticized the amendment's second sentence, which prohibits the "legal incidents" of marriage. He said the amendment's vague wording could prohibit states from passing domestic partnership benefits or civil unions. "I am concerned, however, that the second sentence of this proposed constitutional amendment is unnecessarily vague and could well trample on the rights of the several States of our great Republic. As the second sentence of this proposed amendment is written now, the intent of the amendment simply isn't clear…This type of unnecessary confusion will undoubtedly lead to considerable litigation if this proposed amendment is accepted in its current form."
Arizona Senator John McCain also spoke out against the amendment on the Senate floor. McCain said, "I'm reluctant to abandon the federalism that is part of the essence of conservative political thought in our country."
McCain joined Senators Specter, John Sununu (R-NH), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), Judd Gregg (R-NH), and Susan Collins (R-ME) in opposing today's procedural motion and the amendment itself. A sizable group of other GOP Senators expressed reservations about supporting this amendment if there had been an up or down vote. "Log Cabin applauds all those Republicans who stood up against the amendment. Momentum is on our side because more Senators are voicing doubts about this amendment. They understand it will trample on state authority and it will jeopardize civil unions and domestic partnerships," concluded Guerriero.