Gay Marriage Debate Continues in the Capital

By: Althea Paul
By: Althea Paul

June 5, 2006

The debate over gay marriage rages on in Washington, as President Bush is pushing to officially define marriage as a bond between a man and a woman.

Bekah Saxon is disappointed about a three-day debate taking place on Capital Hill, where the Senate is going over a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriages.

"I really think it's a shame that a document that was written to guarantee people's rights is going to be used to restrict certain freedoms from people," said the Equality Virginia board member.

It's a measure strongly backed by President Bush, who believes marriage should stay solely between a man and a woman.

"An amendment to the Constitution is necessary because activist courts have left our nation with no other choice," said the president at a press conference.

Before the Senate began debate Monday, the president met with a group of supporters who were also urging Congress to take action.

"I believe that the institution of marriage is too precious to surrender to the whims of a handful of unelected activist judges," said Colorado Republican Senator Wayne Allard.

Some lawmakers also say the ban would better protect children, but Saxon, who is raising a son with her partner, disagrees.

"Nobody seems to be thinking about the children like my son, who are already here and are not getting the legal protection that they really do deserve," said Saxon.

Others against the ban argue that the president is using the amendment as a political ploy and that it's simply bigotry.

"So for me it's clear the reason for this debate is to divide our society. To pit one against another," said Nevada Democratic Senator Harry Reid.

But whatever the reason for the proposed ban, both sides are not expected to give in. The amendment would have to pass the Senate and House with a two-thirds vote, then be ratified by at least 38 state legislatures. Experts don't believe it will be passed.

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