D.C. marriage survives Senate vote

One of the 41 amendments which the U.S. Senate voted on this week, while passing the companion bill of “fixes” to the landmark health care legislation, was an amendment to allow Washington, D.C. voters to hold a referendum on same-sex marriage. The amendment was defeated 36 to 59, with the newest—and Republican—senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown, joining his party with a yes vote. Three Republicans did not take part in the vote, which was recorded at 1:16 a.m. on Thursday, March 25, but two Republicans voted no—Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine. Some minor changes were made in the legislation, but the House, which passed the fixes bill on Sunday night, quickly took up the amended measure and approved it. In praising the overall effort on health care reform, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid described it as—among other things—“an anti-discrimination bill.” While the legislation did prohibit discrimination based on a number of factors, it left out sexual orientation and gender identity, which had been part of the original House health care measure.

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