Fri, Jul 16, 2004 - Page 7 News List

Senate votes down ban on gay marriages

AP , Washington

"The unfortunate result is that the important work of the American people -- funding our homeland security needs, creating new and better jobs, and raising the minimum wage -- is not getting done," he said.

Polls show that while gay marriage is opposed by a strong majority of Americans, opinion is more evenly divided on the question of amending the Constitu-tion. Republican strategists concede they must be careful in their handling of the issue, lest the party appear intolerant and offend moderate voters.

Senator Rick Santorum, a Republican, complained more than once during the Senate's debate that supporters of the amendment had been disparaged as intolerant.

"I would argue that the future of our country hangs in the balance because the future of marriage hangs in the balance," he said shortly before the vote. "Isn't that the ultimate homeland security, standing up and defending marriage?"

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