Hume asserted that gay marriage amendment divides Democrats, failed to mention even deeper Republican split

››› ››› RAPHAEL SCHWEBER-KOREN

Fox News host Brit Hume stated that "Democrats and those who support them" are divided over a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages, but Hume overlooked the much deeper Republican split on the issue, as evidenced by a Senate vote related to the amendment. Hume introduced a report by Fox News correspondent Major Garrett by stating that a vote on the proposed amendment "is expected to break almost perfectly along party lines, the Republicans for it and Democrats against," but continued: "Nevertheless, the issue has divided some Democrats and those who support them."

On the June 6 edition of Fox News' Special Report, host Brit Hume stated that "Democrats and those who support them" are divided over a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages, but Hume overlooked the much deeper Republican split on the issue, as evidenced the next day by a Senate vote related to the amendment.

Hume introduced a report by Fox News congressional correspondent Major Garrett by stating that a vote on the proposed amendment "is expected to break almost perfectly along party lines, the Republicans for it and Democrats against," but continued: "Nevertheless, the issue has divided some Democrats and those who support them. Fox News congressional correspondent Major Garrett looks at the debate in the black community." Garrett noted Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) conditional opposition to the amendment, but neither Hume nor Garrett specifically mentioned any other Republican opposition to it. In fact, in the June 7 procedural motion to end debate on the amendment, which failed (with 60 votes required to end debate, 49 senators voted to do so, while 48 opposed), seven of the 54 Republican senators who cast a vote (13 percent) voted no. By contrast, only two of the 42 Democrats (5 percent) to cast a vote did so in favor of cutting off debate on the amendment -- and one of them, Sen. Robert C. Byrd (WV), said he would vote against the amendment itself, according to a June 7 Associated Press article. Independent Sen. James Jeffords (VT) voted against cutting off debate. Three senators did not vote: Democrats Chris Dodd (CT) and Jay Rockefeller (WV); and Republican Chuck Hagel (NE).

Additionally, news reports published before the vote was taken made clear that there was significant Republican opposition to the proposed amendment. The Associated Press reported on June 3 that "[a]ll but one of the Senate Democrats -- the exception is Ben Nelson of Nebraska -- oppose the measure and, with moderate Republicans, are expected to block an up-or-down vote that would kill the measure for the year." Prior news reports had also noted that Sens. Lincoln Chafee (RI), Arlen Specter (PA), Olympia Snowe (ME), Susan Collins (ME), and John Sununu (NH) all oppose the amendment. Sen. Judd Gregg (NH) also voted against ending debate on the amendment.

A June 6 Washington Post article also noted that "[t]he White House itself has been unusually divided on the issue, with Vice President Cheney making it clear that he disagrees with the president and first lady Laura Bush saying the issue [of same-sex marriage] should not be made a political tool."

From the June 6 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:

HUME: The Senate acts this week on a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage, a vote that is expected to break almost perfectly along party lines, the Republicans for it and Democrats against. Nevertheless, the issue has divided some Democrats and those who support them. Fox News congressional correspondent Major Garrett looks at the debate in the black community.

[...]

GARRETT: While the issue divides the black community, it's also a factor in presidential politics. Arizona's John McCain, a top-tier GOP contender, said he prefers to leave regulation of marriage to the states.

McCAIN [video clip]: It's just not clear to me, Mr. President, the threats to the institution of marriage that have arisen in recent times have become a permanent breach of states' authorities' traditional role in regulating and defining marriage as the people of their states.

GARRETT: Forty-six states have approved constitutional amendments or passed laws limiting marriage to a man and woman. Courts have overturned laws or amendments in four states, prompting more legal battles.

McCain vowed to support a constitutional amendment if courts permanently invalidate state moves against gay marriage.

McCAIN [video clip]: Then and only then would the problem justify Congress making the momentous decision to amend the most enduring and successful political compact in human history.

GARRETT: The vote on the amendment won't be close. That led Democrats to accuse Republicans of exploiting the issue to rally dispirited conservatives.

SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D-IL) [video clip]: It strikes me that it's not about the preservation of marriage, it's about the preservation of the majority. The Republican majority.

GARRETT: The Senate will vote tomorrow on a procedural motion to end debate. That's expected to attract 52 votes. Democrats say if it were on the merits, the vote would be even lower. Either way, it's much, much too little -- much, much too less, rather -- far too short of the 67 required for a constitutional amendment. Republicans say it's OK, and in an election year, they need this issue on the table. Democrats call it a needless distraction from the war in Iraq, immigration, and high gas prices. Brit?

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, LGBTQ
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Brit Hume
Show/Publication
Special Report with Brit Hume
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