Senate judiciary panel backs constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage

[JURIST] The US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] on Thursday voted to send a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] to the Senate floor for consideration. The amendment [text], sponsored by Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) [official website] and co-sponsored by 29 others, defines marriage as "the union of a man and a woman." Committee members [list] approved the amendment 10-8, voting along party lines. Debate on the amendment sparked a heated exchange between Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) [official website] and committee Chairman Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) [official website]. After Feingold declared he opposed the amendment [statement] and intended to leave the meeting, Specter bid him "good riddance."

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) [official website] has set a vote on the proposed amendment for early June. Specter said that even though he opposes the amendment, he thought it deserved debate in the full Senate. A similar amendment [text] is pending in a House subcommittee. AP has more.

 

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