Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday, 23 July 2004

US House of Representatives passes Marriage Protection Act

The vote was 233-194 and was passed largely because the House is controlled by the governing Republican party, although about 27 Democrats voted for the change, too - indeed without them it might not have passed at all!

The lower house vote comes only a week after the Senate rejected the Federal Marriage Amendment to the US Constitution. The present vote will have the effect of allowing states not to recognise gay marriages contracted in states where this is permitted (e.g. Massachusetts) and is seen as a stratagem, in an election year, to by-pass the US Constitution by making law not subject to higher Federal judicial review. Most commentators I have read seem to think that the US Supreme Court would, given its current composition, overturn this legilsaltion as unconstitutional if a case was brought before it. The most assertion is that this could happen because of the safeguards included in Section 1. of the fourteenth amendment to the US Constitution, but I have no competence to comment on how likely or not this is, except to comfort myself that most commentators seem to think it is unlikely this latest act will survive unchallenged.

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