- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 28, 2004

From combined dispatches

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Texas Republican, yesterday said that a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex “marriage” lacks the two-thirds majority needed to win passage in the House.

But Mr. DeLay said he still welcomes tomorrow’s scheduled vote on the amendment.

“The American people need to know where their representatives stand” on the issue, Mr. DeLay told a news conference. “It will be part of, and should be part of, the debate and the elections that are upcoming.”

The text of the measure reads: “Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. 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.”

Mr. DeLay said a Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision last November requiring officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples had compelled Congress to “reassert itself” by taking up the issue.

“We are forced to bring a constitutional amendment to the floor because of activist courts and activist judges,” Mr. DeLay said.

For a constitutional amendment to pass, two-thirds majorities of both the House and Senate must approve the measure, which then must be ratified by three-quarters of the states.

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