The Federal Marriage Amendment got its first, and probably only, Democratic supporter with West Virginia Representative Nick Rahall signing on. Admittedly, Rahall is one of the very few anti-gay Democrats in Congress, so this is not surprising; however, the bill that would create the FMA still only has 38 sponsors, and none of those are senior members of the GOP House membership.
The amendment was introduced this time by Representative Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) shortly after the United States Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. The amendment would define marriage as being between a man and a woman inside the United States.
The amendment reads, in full, “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, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.”
Despite Rahall’s signing on to the bill, virtually no Democrats have been rushing to sign on, and it’s taken Rahall almost a month to do so. Of course, in the past, Rahall was one of just nine Democrats to vote to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act. This happened in 2011.
The bill is unlikely to gain much traction. Even if it comes to a successful vote in the House, it would die in the Senate, and even if it passed the Senate by some miracle, it would have to get 38 state legislatures to vote in favor of it, which seems far less likely today than it did when the FMA was first introduced.
Same-sex marriage is legal in 13 states currently with several more lining up to make the move in the near future.