Marriage Date:

Senate Republican leaders have scheduled a vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) to the Constitution for the week of July 12. The announcement came as a pleasant surprise for conservatives and a jarring one for Democrats.

The FMA defines marriage as between one man and one woman, and prevents any court from forcing a state to recognize homosexual “marriages” codified in another state. The vote falls just two weeks before the Democratic National Convention in Boston. If, as expected, Sen. John Kerry (D.-Mass.) and most of his fellow Democrats oppose the amendment, they will be forced during the fall campaign to defend that position in the face of overwhelming public opposition. A May 17 Wirthlin poll found that 67% of Americans support the FMA–57% “strongly” and 10% only “somewhat.”