March 17, 2005

THE MARGINS ARE INSTRUCTIVE:

Tennessee to vote on gay marriage ban (Associated Press, 03/17/05)

Tennesseans will get a chance to vote on whether to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage after the House on Thursday overwhelmingly approved putting the question on the 2006 ballot.

The vote in favor of the resolution, which says marriage will be defined as between one man and one woman, was 88-7 with one member not voting.

The Senate approved the measure 29-3 last month.

When it goes before the voters, the measure will need more than a simple majority. Amending the Tennessee Constitution requires passage by a number of votes that equals a majority of ballots cast in the governor's race. ``I feel I'm doing right,'' said sponsor Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville. ``It's proper for government to be involved and put a stamp of approval between a man and a woman.''


Knowing he was going to be running for the Senate, Harold Ford had sense enough to reverse himself and vote for the Federal marriage amendment. It should be fun to watch Democratic activists fight the TN measure but support him.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 17, 2005 4:37 PM
Comments

Why aren't the various State courts reading the election returns?

Posted by: ray at March 17, 2005 8:16 PM

The amendment is more likely to be used by party activists against Phil Bredesen, if he wins re-election in 2006 and then tries to make a bid for president or vice-president two years later. Attacking Ford directly (at least while he's still a Democrat) would be too risky, given the party's reliance of black voters for maintaining any relevancy at all in national elections.

Posted by: John at March 17, 2005 11:04 PM

Ford is having some problems:

(1) His uncle, a state Senator, is involved in an ethics probe that is reminding people that the Ford family has sucked up shady money for decades while it has bossed black politics in Memphis. Harold JR. is, AFAIK, as clean as a hound's tooth, but the headlines don't help.

(2) Some of the "Bredecrats" (Tennessee "pragmatic" Republicans who supported Phil Bredesen over the anti-tax Van Hillery) who had made very subtle committments to Ford on the money side have not come through as it has been made clear to them that playing footsie with Dems is not going to be forgiven by the base.

Posted by: Dan at March 17, 2005 11:22 PM
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