Monday, March 28, 2011

Defense of the Marriage Act
The Marriage Act was put into place on September 21, 1996 by former president Bill Clinton which the federal government defined marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. Under the law, no state may be required to recognize as a marriage a same- sex relationship considered a marriage in another state. The law passed both houses of Congress by large majorities. Lawmakers in Maryland failed to gather enough votes to pass a bill that would have allowed same-sex couples to marry, withdrawing it from consideration after hours of emotional debate and effectively killing the bill’s chances for passage this year.
The withdrawal capped a tumultuous few weeks, which began with the bill’s sponsors saying that its passage was all but assured and that Maryland would soon become the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage.

Two national groups that oppose same-sex marriage, the National Organization for Marriage and the Family Research Council, both highlighted African-American and religious opponents of the bill as central to its defeat. Democrats hold 98 of the House’s 141 seats, more than enough to overcome near-total Republican opposition, but ultimately about a third of all Democrats opposed it. The National Organization for Marriage said that it would spend part of the $1 million it had pledged to spend in Maryland to support Democrats who went against the bill, and to oppose the lone Republican who voted for it. The bill’s supporters would settle for no less than full marriage rights, as are legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia. A Democrat’s proposal to make the bill about civil unions instead of marriage failed. This somehow connects to class because we were discussing certain powers that the president has while in office. We discussed how he can veto bills, call on treaties, start war, etc. This is a great example of the president vetoing bills.

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