Sense visited Congress today, when the constitutional amendment drive by anti-gay-marriage activists in the Senate was derailed by a bipartisan host of their more principled colleagues. Conservative Republicans, although publicly backed by President Bush, failed to muster enough support to end debate and force a vote on the innocuously named Federal Marriage Amendment.
The broad rejection may signal that American society has simply progressed too far to concretize discrimination against queer couples among the nation’s guiding principles. But another, perhaps more crucial, test to that progress looms just around the corner.
In Massachusetts—the only state so far where same-sex couples may legally marry—legislators are gearing up for a constitutional battle of their own. A measure to scale back the state supreme court’s ruling, which held that denying same-sex couples the right to marry violated the equality mandate of the Massachusetts constitution, is up for a vote in that legislature’s 2005–2006 session.