A vote on the Federal Marriage Ammendment approaches:

Senator Wayne Allard, Republican of Colorado and the Senate author of the proposal, said the Senate would begin debate Friday and move toward a vote by the middle of next week. He and others said the most likely scenario would be a vote to cut off debate, which is also known as a cloture vote and requires 60 votes. Should supporters fail to reach that level, the amendment would be dead for the year. The amendment itself would need 67 votes to pass.

…Spokesmen for Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards said they did not know whether the candidates would be in Washington for the debate and votes next week. ‘We’re not going to do our travel schedule based on political gamesmanship on the Senate floor,’ Stephanie Cutter, the campaign’s communications director, said. She noted that Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards both have said they support gay rights, oppose gay marriage, and oppose the amendment. ‘You don’t amend the Constitution to roll back rights,’ she said. But Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards are getting some pressure to attend the session from opponents of the amendment, who want to defeat it by the widest possible margin. ‘The larger the margin the stronger the message that the politics of discrimination will not work,’ said Steven Fisher, communications director for the communications director for the Human Rights Campaign.

The ammendment will fail. Democrats know it. Republicans know. George Bush knew it before he ever pushed for the goddamn thing to appease his base. That doesn’t make this cynical exercise in bigotry any less sickening, however, and a ticket serious about progressive change should take this opportunity – especially given Edwards sub-optimal record on gay rights – to cast votes against hate.

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