Gay marriage ban advances to Senate floor

It looks like Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) is going to get his wish to follow up his failed "Health Care Week" with "Wedge Issue June" as Senator Wayne Allard's (R-CO) "Marriage Protection Amendment" made it through the Senate Judiciary Committee today on a straight party line vote -- after which, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) left the room following a sharp exchange of words with Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA).

Allard's bigoted bill, which has a zero chance of passing the full Senate when it arrives for the June 5 date set by Frist, has 29 Republican cosponsors and says that "… marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman."

It also "prohibits the Constitution or any State constitution from being construed to require that marital status or its legal incidents be conferred upon any union other than that of a man and a woman."

The Associated Press reports that Feingold, a vocal opponent of the measure, got into a heated exchange with Specter after the vote.

"I don't need to be lectured by you. You are no more a protector of the Constitution than am I," said Specter after Feingold said he was leaving the meeting. "If you want to leave, good riddance."

Said Feingold: "I've enjoyed your lecture, too, Mr. Chairman. See ya."

Up next, look for Orrin Hatch's (R-UT), S.J.RES.12 -- also known as the "flag-burning amendment" -- to pass Committee and find its way to the Senate Floor in June as well. The Hatch amendment proposes to amend the U..S. Constitution "…to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States" and Frist has promised a roll-call vote on it as well.

With Frist trying to set the table with nonsensical issues for the midterm elections, it's gonna be a long, hot summer.

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