Despite of being disappointed by the Marriage Protection Amendment’s failure in the House yesterday, pro-family religious conservatives see the House’s majority support for the amendment as an encouraging sign and are reaffirming their commitment to protect traditional marriage.
The vote 227 to 186 in favor of the amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, 49 short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass in the House and to be ratified by the states.
"I think it's a victory to me that we had a vote," said Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo., author of the amendment. "I think the American people want to know where we stand on marriage, and today they got that information."
Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, agreed. "We may not have won by 2/3, but momentum is on our side,” he said, noting that 13 states have ballot initiatives this fall to upholding traditional marriage. “We are moving forward steadily and we will succeed in protecting marriage.”
Perkins admitted that supporters of the amendment had “known from the beginning that this was going to be a long fight.”
Earlier this year, a similar marriage amendment failed to make it to vote in the Senate.
President Bush, who adamantly supported the Senate version of the amendment, called Federal Marriage Amendment, said in statement that "a bipartisan majority of U.S. Representatives voted in favor of a constitutional amendment affirming the sanctity of marriage as a union between a man and a woman" but said he was disappointed the amendment didn’t receive two-thirds vote.
He added, “Because activist judges and local officials in some parts of the country are seeking to redefine marriage for the rest of the country, we must remain vigilant in defending traditional marriage."
James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, shared a similar reaction to the vote as other pro-family groups. The group was "profoundly disappointed by the news that (the House) has rejected a constitutional amendment to preserve the institution of marriage,” he said.
"It is our hope that America will carefully note the names of the congressmen who pandered to the homosexual lobby and took the easy way out on this issue of unprecedented importance," he said.
Gary Bauer, president of American Values and former presidential candidate, congressman who did not vote in favor the amendment “gave away the rights of the American people to protect their most sacred institution,” adding that “not all of them will be invited back to Washington as a result.”
House Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, warned opponents, "This is only the beginning, I'm telling you, because this nation will protect marriage.”