March 24, 2010 | by Kevin Naff
U.S. Senate may vote on D.C. marriage

The U.S. Senate will consider Republican amendments to the health care reconciliation package this week. One such amendment would force a referendum on same-sex marriage in Washington, D.C.

Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) is expected to introduce the amendment sometime Wednesday or Thursday. The amendment is widely expected to fail, but supporters said they would pursue it in order to put all U.S. senators on the record regarding their views on same-sex marriage.

The National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex marriage, issued an “emergency alert” to supporters on Wednesday asking them to e-mail their senators and urge a vote in favor of the Bennett amendment.

Bennett filed amendment No. 3568 early Wednesday morning, titled, “To protect the democratic process and the right of the people of the District of Columbia to define marriage.”

Bennett has yet to formerly introduce the amendment. He must do so by about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, when the debate period ends on the underlying bill, the Healthcare and Education Reconciliation Act.

One knowledgeable source familiar with the healthcare bill said Bennett’s amendment was expected to be ruled non-germane, preventing it from being brought up for a vote. Sixty senators would have to vote to overturn the non-germaneness ruling, something nearly all observers feel will not happen.

DC Agenda will have more on this story as it develops.

Staff writer Lou Chibbaro Jr. contributed to this article.

Kevin Naff is the editor and a co-owner of the Washington Blade, the nation’s oldest and most acclaimed LGBT news publication, founded in 1969.

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