House Rejects Marriage Amendment

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:31 PM EDT

( - In a vote of 236 to 187, the U.S. House Tuesday rejected a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, because it did not have enough support from Democrats to get a two-thirds vote.

Conservatives expressed disappointment with the vote. "Forty-five states have passed laws or constitutional amendments defining marriage between a man and a woman, yet non- elected, liberally motivated judges have overturned the voice of the American people time after time," said House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) in a statement.

"It's unfortunate that more than a majority of democrats today have sided with these liberal judges and voted against this measure," Hastert said.

Hastert vowed that "this issue is not over and that we will continue to send a message to the American people that preserving and protecting marriage is a priority and we will continue to fight for the American family on this front and others."

Same-sex marriage supporters heralded the defeat of the marriage amendment bill.

"The fact that this even came up for debate is yet another example of too many legislator's misplaced priorities or worse - election year pandering," said Jody M. Huckaby, executive director of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) in a statement.

"The bottom line is that Americans are facing issues that need attention - skyrocketing gas prices, international tensions, and environmental issues, to name just a few. Working towards enshrining discrimination into our Constitution doesn't make the list of things they want done," said Huckaby.

Subscribe to the free daily E-brief.

E-mail a comment or news tip to Melanie Hunter.

Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.