From the GOP Playbook

Ken AshfordElection 2006, Sex/Morality/Family ValuesLeave a Comment

In Election 2004, Bush/Rove played the homophobia card.  Bush condemned gay marriage, and that ignited homophobia from "middle America".  So they voted Bush into office so that he could do nothing about gay marriage (but he did give tax cuts to upper-income American).

Looks like we’re going to see the same thing again this election year.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Monday he plans a vote in early June on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, a move likely to fail but sure to spark a fiery election-year debate.

Frist, a Tennessee Republican, told CNN he’s planning the vote for the week of June 5 because he wants to deal with the issue "as early as possible" before the Senate calendar fills up in a busy election year.

Frist said he doesn’t know how many votes the ban will receive, but Republican and Democratic aides privately acknowledged the vote will probably fall far short of the 67-vote supermajority needed to advance a constitutional amendment.

When the Senate last voted on the issue in July 2004, a procedural motion to consider the ban received 48 votes — well short of the number needed to send it on to the House of Representatives and then to all 50 states for ratification.

A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, charged that Frist is wasting valuable time on the Senate floor in order to rally conservative voters in the midterm elections.

"At a time when we have so many other pressing issues facing the country, I’m not sure where this falls in the list of priorities," said Reid spokesman Jim Manley.

Frist has been mentioned as a potential presidential candidate in 2008, but a poll taken in December showed him trailing several other possible GOP nominees.

Republican supporters of the constitutional ban insist they are not motivated by the politics of the issue and are solely focused on keeping the matter on the national agenda, hoping they can get closer to 67 votes over the next few years.