Alternative to marriage amendment offered

By WND Staff

After failure of the Federal Marriage Amendment in the Senate, a congressman has proposed passing a federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

Rep. Ernest Istook, R.-Okla., wants a law that would over-ride all state laws, granting the U.S. Supreme Court original jurisdiction over any legal challenge against it, reports Human Events online.

That means any challenge would bypass all lower courts and go straight to the high court.

The Senate Wednesday effectively killed the first attempt at an amendment by rejecting a move by Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennesee to end debate and vote on it. Republicans garnered 48 votes in favor of cloture, far short of the 60 needed.

To pass, Istook’s proposal would need only a congressional majority and presidential signature, while a constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds majority from both chambers and ratification by three-fourths of the states.

The idea likely will spark federalist objections, Human Events says, but it would remove the defense of Sen. John Kerry and other Democrats who say they oppose same-sex marriage but don’t support changing the Constitution.

The law would expedite a ruling on same-sex marriage by the Supreme Court. If the high court were to rule in favor of same-sex marriage, Human Events notes, the case for a constitutional amendment would be greatly strengthened.

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