from Political News
Senate rejects Marriage Protection Amendment on June 7, 2006June 7, 2006 - By a vote of 49-48, the U.S. Senate rejected passage of the Marriage Protection Amendment (MPA) to define marriage as a one-man, one-woman union. The MPA needed 60 votes for passage.
The day before the vote, President Bush held a White House ceremony where he announced his support for the MPA and called upon the Senate to pass it. Attending the ceremony was Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International, an umbrella organization of ministries that help individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions.
In a press release issued prior to the White House ceremony, Chambers said: "The lives of thousands of former homosexuals, like me, verify that homosexuality is not an immutable trait, therefore marriage is not a civil right to be casually granted to any group who demands it. Nor is it a relational right of passage to be awarded to those demonstrating a committed, emotional bond. Ultimately, this debate is about nothing less than the preservation of future generations."
Chambers continued, "Natural marriage is a unique union that has proven to meet the needs of children and individuals in a way that homosexual partnerships, polygamous unions and polyamorous relationships never will. Having both a mom and a dad is the best recipe for a child's wholeness. So many of us have already suffered the absence of a parent-how much greater the consequences of intentionally inflicting this situation upon generations to come. Redefining marriage is a reckless social experiment America cannot afford to undergo."
Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) has been one of the most vocal opponents of the Marriage Protection Amendment. He said: "A vote for this amendment is a vote for bigotry, pure and simple." Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) agrees: "For me, it is clear the reason for this debate is to divide our society, to put one against another. This is another one of the president's efforts to frighten, to distort, to distract and to confuse America."
Paula Ettelbrick, an NYU professor and head of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, says the MPA is "an unquestioned violation of international treaties" and a "clear violation of international human rights."
Social commentator Maggie Gallagher notes of the critics of the MPA: "For the foreseeable future, Americans are going to live with some deep moral disagreements on the marriage issue. Conducting this debate in a spirit of mutual respect and civility would be a lot easier if gay marriage advocates stopped pretending that only fear, hatred or bigotry is at the root of these disagreements."
Gallagher notes that the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has published a report on the potential dangers that gay marriage poses to religious freedom in America: "Scholars' Conference on Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty."