The attempt to ban gay marriage, by an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, has suffered a [welcome] blow. The U.S. Senate has failed to give the amendment the 60 votes required to allow the amendment to pass to the next stage. The vote was 50 to 48 in favour, so it cannot go forward to the next stage - if you want to know how this works, you can read about it here. For existing amendments to the Constitution, click here.
So far 38 states have banned homosexual marriage, but President Bush hoped to circumvent attempts by some of the remainder to legalise this by making a change to the Constitution. It seems highly unlikely that he will succeed in having this amendment passed before the U.S. Presidential elections in November. What happens after that is anyone's guess. For now it is effectively dead. I am interested in this because, like it or not, what happens in the United States often affects us indirectly (and to a greater or lesser degree) in the UK and elsewhere in the world eventually. Wonderful!