From the AP story:
The Senate on Wednesday rejected a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, dealing an embarrassing defeat to President Bush and Republicans who hoped to use the measure to energize conservative voters on Election Day.
Today’s vote was 49-48; the vote in 2004 was 50-48. Notably, the one vote was lost after a gain of several Republican seats. Amendment proponents had been predicting a gain, reaching at least 51 votes. According to HRC, not a single Senator who voted no in 2004 changed their vote, but two Senators who initially voted for the amendment changed their vote to no, Senators Gregg (R-NH) and Specter (R-PA). Here’s the vote roster.
Senator Orrin Hatch says that supporters are “going to keep bringing it up,” while Senator Sam Brownback says “We’re not going to stop until marriage between a man and a woman is protected.” Well, good for them. That should give everyone ample opportunity to see what the priorties of these gentlemen are, as public opinion in support of equality for all families continues to grow.
Meanwhile, the hole gets deeper. White House press secretary Tony Snow gave a hilarious news conference yesterday in which he states that the desire to write discrimination into the Constitution is a “civil rights issue.” A rather incredulous journalist asks him for clarification: Did he just equate this amendment with civil rights? Unable to answer, Snow tries to turn the question back on the journalist, asking “Well, how do you define civil rights? It was your question.” This is a must see. You can download the video clip here.
Several possible explanations come to mind, but this one stands out: Maybe Mr. Snow “wants to spend more time with his family.”
Bob at Commonwealth Commonsense has the story on how this vote was initially reported inaccurately to favor the amendment supporters’ spin, and on badly framing the issue.