Senate Expected to Vote on FMA Today

( [email protected] ) Jul 14, 2004 12:52 PM EDT

The U.S. Senate is expected to deliver a vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment today. The constitutional amendment needs two-third majority, 67 votes, to pass although it currently has less than half of Senate votes. At least 60 Senators must vote on the issue to prevent a filibuster.

On Tuesday, some proponents of the amendment were looking to gain wider support for the FMA and considered omitting its second sentence, which many believe would remove the possiblity for states to decide on the issue of same-sex civil unions. Democrats have agreed to vote on the amendment only if the language is not changed.

Meanwhile, supporters of the amendment have been flooding the Main Capital Switchboard with calls urging their Senators to vote for the FMA. Sen. Ben Campbell's Washington office received about 500 calls per hour while Alabama’s Sen.Jeff Sessions reported receiving roughly 1,500 calls supporting the amendment and only 30-40 opposed. Many calls were a part of a pro-family initiative Sunday which called on Christians to especially urge undecided Senators to vote for the FMA.

Some Senators say they oppose same-sex "marriages" but want to leave the issue up to the states.

Sen. Rick Santorum said in response, "What those who suggest that we leave it to the states are suggesting is [that we] leave it to the state courts. That's always been the secret weapon of those who want to change our culture and change our laws without going through the process.