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GOP lawmaker introduces bill to amend U.S. Constitution to ban gay marriage

Monday, July 1, 2013
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WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) on Friday introduced legislation to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

The measure comes just two days after the U.S. Supreme Court stuck down a key provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that denied federal benefits to legally married gay couples, and cleared the way for same-sex marriage to resume in California.

U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.)

Under Huelskamp’s bill, “Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.”

The bill has 28 Republican co-sponsors, but it remains to be seen whether House GOP leaders will offer any support in light of the recent Supreme Court rulings.

Huelskamp said last week that the Supreme Court ruling was a “radical usurpation of legislative and popular authority will not end the debate over marriage in this country.”

“Five activist justices have short-circuited the democratic process,” he said.

The last Congressional vote to take place on a proposed federal marriage amendment occurred in the U.S. House in 2006, when the Amendment failed 236 yea to 187 nay votes, falling short of the 290 yea votes required for passage in that body.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) were co-sponsors of the failed 2006 effort.

Observers say Huelskamp’s bill is a waste of Congress’ time and money, as he would need the support of more than 50 House Democrats, the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate, and 38 states to ratify such an amendment.

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