AP: Gay Marriage Amendment not high on Bush agenda
Does anyone think the Concerned Women for America, Focus on the Family, Falwell and all the rest of the “marriage sanctity” protectors are going to sit still for this? If you read my earlier post with the LA Times profile on the CWA, you’ll know that they are so rabid that they don’t mind lashing out at the Rethugs if it looks like the Bushies aren’t far enough to the Right for their tastes. (AP):
Opponents of gay marriage concede victory will not be swift in their attempt to amend the U.S. Constitution, even after prevailing in all 11 states where the issue was on the ballot last month.
“We’re going to have to see additional court cases come down” supporting gay marriage before congressional sentiment shifts dramatically, predicted Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who supports the amendment that failed in both houses of Congress this year.
Critics of gay marriage have long warned of such court rulings. Cornyn and others who support changing the Constitution to ban gay marriage say several cases have the potential to produce a sharp shift in congressional sentiment toward their viewpoint. They point to suits in Florida, California, Nebraska and elsewhere.
But Matt Coles of the ACLU’s Lesbian and Gay Rights Project said that’s unlikely â€” and not entirely by accident.
Many of the cases making their way through the courts were filed by individuals not affiliated with leading gay rights organizations, he said, and were not framed to make a targeted challenge to a 1996 law known as the Defense of Marriage Act.
Frontline groups have held off, he said. “People think that neither the country nor the courts are ready for it and probably we’ll lose. Nobody likes to take cases and lose.”
…It’s not clear how aggressively the White House or Republican leaders in Congress intend to push the issue, with the election over and priorities such as Social Security and tax overhaul competing for attention.
White House political adviser Karl Rove said after the election that President Bush intends to continue seeking a constitutional amendment that says marriage must consist of a man and a woman.
…Purely by the numbers, prospects for passage of an amendment in Congress “have definitely improved” following the election, said Tom McClusky of the Family Research Council. “But by enough? That’s going to be wait and see.”
…At the same time, GOP congressional aides who attended a series of closed-door meetings recently said Rove did not mention the amendment when he outlined the administration’s key legislative goals for the year ahead. Nor did the issue figure prominently in strategy sessions held by GOP congressional leaders, added these officials, who declined to be identified by name because the proceedings were closed to the press.
McClusky, director of government affairs for the Family Research Council, said his organization wants more than rhetorical support from the administration.
“We’re hoping for a vote early on in 2005 and we’re hoping that the president will make the phone calls again,” he said. “It’s going to be another one of those things of wait and see whether this is going to be something he did for the 2004 elections or this is something he truly believes in.”