Marriage Amendment Amended:

CQ Today reports that the sponsors of the Federal Marriage Amendment, Sen. Wayne Allard (R.-Colo.) and Marilyn Musgrave (R.-Colo.), have changed the language of the bill. The change was made “to make it clear, without any ambiguity, that the states have a role as far as dealing with civil unions,” according to Allard. CQ Today notes that “the change was announced at a news conference in the Capitol hosted by the Alliance for Marriage, a socially conservative group opposed to gay marriage that drafted the original resolution.”

The original draft of the amendment defined marriage as “the union of a man and a woman” and said that “neither this Constitution, nor the Constitution of any State, nor State or Federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.” The revised amendment excludes the phrase “not State or Federal law.” This change is supposed to make it clear that the amendment does not trample on states’ rights.