The Federal Marriage Amendment was defeated in the House of Representatives last Thursday, falling 49 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass it. The amendment, introduced by Rep Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO), would have prohibited same-sex marriage and denied the legal benefit of marriage to all unmarried couples. The amendment would have also preempted all state constitutions, denying states the right to decide who can get married within their borders, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
The amendment had been denounced by the Democratic party as being a divisive and prejudiced pre-election ploy, according to the Washington Post. Indeed, many Republicans conceded that the purpose of the amendment was to ensure that Democratic opponents were forced to go on the record with their beliefs about same-sex marriage before the upcoming election on November 2.
The Washington Post reports that there has been a stream of conservative causes brought before the House in recent months. Bills passed by the House include the repeal of most of the gun laws in the District of Columbia, a bill that would bar federal courts from even considering challenges to the phrase “under God” in the nation’s Pledge of Allegiance, as well as a flag-protection constitutional amendment. All of these proposals face serious opposition in the Senate.