WASHINGTON (BP)–Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has signed on as a co-sponsor of the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment, adding momentum to those hoping for a vote on the amendment this year.
Meanwhile, Mississippi legislators have passed a constitutional marriage amendment, meaning that voters in that state will decide the issue this fall.
Frist, R.-Tenn., signed on as a co-sponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment April 8 — the same day two other Republicans, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Jim Talent of Missouri, added their names to the amendment. Including Orrin Hatch of Utah, who signed on as a co-sponsor April 7, there are now 14 supporters for the amendment in the Senate. Only one of those, Zell Miller of Georgia, is a Democrat.
Nevertheless, getting Frist officially on board was an important step forward for those who support the traditional definition of marriage and want to see the Constitution amended to ban same-sex “marriage,”
“In joining the other bipartisan cosponsors of our Marriage Amendment in the Senate … Senator Frist acted in accordance with the views of the vast majority of Americans who do not want to see our marriage laws struck down in court,” Matt Daniels, president of the Alliance for Marriage, said in a statement.
Most polls show that around 60 percent of the public opposes the legalization of same-sex “marriage.” A March CBS News/New York Times poll showed that 59 percent supported a marriage amendment.
In Mississippi, state senators passed the marriage amendment April 7 by a vote of 51-0, one month after it passed the state House 97-17. Mississippi is the third state to send a marriage amendment to voters; Georgia and Utah are the other two. All three states have laws banning same-sex “marriage,” although none of them address the issue in their respective constitutions.
A constitutional amendment in Massachusetts would have prevented that state’s high court from issuing its controversial ruling for same-sex “marriage.” Massachusetts had no law against same-sex “marriage.
For more information about the debate over same-sex “marriage,” visit