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Senate continues
debate on marriage ban

Senate continues
debate on marriage ban

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Debate in the U.S. Senate over the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage is heating up ahead of a final vote on Wednesday.

Debate in the U.S. Senate over the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage heated up on Tuesday as supporters and opponents traded barbs over whether to write discrimination into the the country's most valued document. And despite another appeal for passage by President Bush, the amendment appears headed toward certain defeat Wednesday, the Associated Press reports.

"Most Americans are not yet convinced that their elected representatives or the judiciary are likely to expand decisively the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples," said Sen. John McCain, a possible presidential candidate in 2008. He told the Senate on Tuesday that he does not support the amendment.

Some of those closely watching the Senate's three-day debate on the proposed amendment are engaging that argument as if the measure stands a chance of passage, the AP said. Bush, his popularity sagging and his conservative base dissatisfied with Republicans' efforts on social issues, on Tuesday issued a fresh appeal for passage for the third time in as many days. "The Administration believes that the future of marriage in America should be decided through the democratic constitutional amendment process, rather than by the court orders of a few," a White House statement said.

But a majority of Americans do not share that position, according to an ABC News poll released on Monday. While a majority oppose same-sex marriage, an equal majority oppose amending the Constitution to prohibit it, the poll showed. More than half of Americans, 58%, said that same-sex marriages should be illegal. But only 40% said they support amending the Constitution to ban it. A majority said states should make their own laws on same-sex marriage.

The measure's looming defeat in the Senate is by no means its last stand, said its supporters. "Whether it passes or not this time, I do not believe the sponsors are going to fall back and cry about it," said Sen. Orrin Hatch. "I think they are going to keep bringing it up."

The House plans a redux next month, said Majority Leader John Boehner. "This is an issue that is of significant importance to many Americans," Boehner told reporters. "We have significant numbers of our members who want a vote on this, so we are going to have a vote." (The Advocate)

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