Back to Real Business After Blocking Gay Marriage Amendment

In 2004, we defeated attempts to force this extreme agenda into the Constitution. Now, we’ve done it again and it’s time for the U.S. Senate to get back to the real business of the nation. It’s disappointing and frustrating that the Senate allowed this agenda to come ahead of so many other higher priorities that need to be addressed.

The American people are looking to all of us in Congress for help on the enormous challenges we face as a nation – the war in Iraq, threats to our national security, skyrocketing gas prices, soaring health care costs, preparations for the new hurricane season, and so many other urgent issues. They want Congress to concentrate on these real threats facing American families today. With the defeat of this so-called Federal Marriage Amendment, the Senate can turn back to the urgent priorities facing America today.

I’m proud that Massachusetts continues to be a leader on marriage equality. Being part of a family is a basic right, and I look forward to the day when every state accepts this basic principle of fairness. Marriage is a solemn commitment to plan a future together, to share in life’s celebrations, to be there as a source of comfort and support to ease life’s burdens and pains. This week’s debate in the Senate affects real families with real-life struggles. When the citizens of a state have decided to recognize those families -- through their state constitution or state laws -- the Senate has no business undermining their personal, private decisions.

It’s wrong to try to turn back the clock on the progress we’ve made in guaranteeing civil rights for all our people. That progress has been achieved at great cost and sacrifice, and we must not retreat. The Constitution has never been amended to discriminate any American, and now is no time to start.