U.S. Senate Continues Gay Marriage Amendment Debate

June 6, 2006

The U.S. Senate continues debate today on a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. In Chicago, organizations on both sides of the issue are anxiously watching the debate.

Gay rights advocates say President Bush's recent support of the amendment is a ploy to divert attention from his low poll numbers.

Rick Garcia, a spokesperson for a statewide gay civil rights group called Equality Illinois, says, "They know they don't have the votes and yet they're bringing this issue up to use it as a political tool for the November election. It's vile."

Meanwhile, the Illinois Family Institute's Peter LaBarbera says the president could have generated more support if he had raised the issue earlier in his term.

"A lot of conservatives feel it was a little too little too late in terms of using the bully pullpit to build a case for a marriage amendment. And I certainly feel that way. I wish the president would've been speaking on this more regularly," he said.

Advocates for and against the amendment agree on one thing: they don't think the votes are there to pass it. They also don't think the issue is going away.