HRC Blog

DC Marriage Amendment to Health Insurance Reform Bill Defeated in Senate

DC FlagIn the wee hours of this morning, the U.S. Senate defeated an attempt to force the issue of marriage equality on the ballot in DC.  Senators were considering a slew of amendments offered to the reconciliation package already passed by the House that would tweak the health insurance reform legislation signed by the President on Tuesday. The amendment that was offered by Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, would have halted legal same-sex marriages until voters in the District were allowed to weigh in on the matter.  Opponents of marriage equality in DC needed to reach 60 votes for the amendment but only garnered 36.  Fifty-nine Senators opposed the measure, including two Republicans -- Maine's Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. Said HRC President Joe Solmonese:

“It is always offensive when Congress tries to meddle with the decisions of the democratically-elected government of the District of Columbia, but this is unfortunately nothing new.  What is deeply cynical about the Bennett Amendment however is the attempt by Senate Republicans to use marriage equality in the District as a political wedge to kill the historic effort to improve the health care system for all Americans. Fortunately, a strong majority of Senators rejected this political ploy.”

LawDork's Chris Geidner has more and you can view the entire roll-call vote here.

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