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Report: Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage stalled in Republican-led House of Representatives

DOMA Repeal DOMA trials Marriage equality

By Scottie Thomaston

Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill

Last month, when the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor, a Republican representative in the House introduced an amendment to the United States Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Amendments have to pass by 2/3 in both houses of Congress and then 3/4 of the states. The marriage amendment has come up in different forms in the past, and has never passed Congress, although at the time Massachusetts was the only state with same-sex marriage. Now, there are 13, and a majority of Americans support marriage equality. The amendment seems to have no chance of passage at this point.

Now, Huffington Post is reporting that the latest proposal is ‘gathering dust’ in committee, with only 36 cosponsors:

When the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in late June, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) didn’t waste any time filing legislation that would go around the court and ban same-sex marriage by amending the U.S. Constitution.

“This would trump the Supreme Court,” Huelskamp told The Huffington Post at the time. “The debate is not over.”

Since then, Huelskamp’s bill has picked up 36 cosponsors — all of whom are rank-and-file conservatives — and now awaits action in the House Judiciary Committee.

And that may be all you ever hear of the bill.

According to their story, Huffington Post contacted House leadership and various Republican House representatives, and “nobody seems to want to go near it[.]” House Speaker John Boehner has said he has no plans to take legislative action after the Court’s Windsor ruling.

There are no marriage equality cases awaiting Supreme Court review, though cases in Hawaii and Nevada are pending at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and a challenge to Michigan’s marriage equality ban is ongoing in district court. The Court ducked the question in the Prop 8 case, holding only that the ballot initiative’s proponents lacked legal standing to appeal from the district court when the state declined to appeal.

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