June 24, 2004 | News Releases on Family and Marriage
WASHINGTON, JUNE 24,
2004-You may not be able to predict how the Senate will
vote on a constitutional amendment to protect marriage (as it's
scheduled to do the week of July 12). But by pointing your Web
browser to The Heritage Foundation's "Marriage in the 50
States" database, you can see what lawmakers are
saying about the issue.
Many senators say they don't support same-sex marriage but are reluctant to amend the Constitution, preferring to leave the issue for each state to decide on its own. As Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., told the Las Vegas Sun, "I believe in the sanctity of marriage, but I also believe in the sanctity of the Constitution. I do not think one must be sacrificed for the other." Some are firm in their opposition, while others appear open to persuasion.
Passions can run high, of course. According to Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., "a constitutional amendment is not about helping families … It is an election-year ploy to divide and conquer. With our country at war in Iraq, we do not need a cultural war here at home." Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., disagrees. "The traditional institution of marriage is now under attack," he told the Charlotte Observer. "If we don't act, it's only a matter of time until marriage as we have known it will be redefined."
The Heritage database also includes links to each senator's Web site and notes if (and how) he or she voted for the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. To get access to quotes from Alabama to Wyoming, type heritage.org/Research/Family/Senatorsforall50States.cfm into your Web browser, then click on the state you want.