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UPDATED: 08:32, July 19, 2006
U.S. House rejects amendment to ban same-sex marriage
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The U.S. House of Representatives rejected on Tuesday a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, weeks after the Senate voted to reject a similar measure.

The amendment failed to pass the House in a vote of 236-187, 47 votes short of the 283, or two-thirds majority, required to advance a provision to the Constitution defining marriage as only "the union of a man and a woman."

The Senate voted last month to defeat the amendment last month, a sensitive issue in the congressional election year.

Republicans said the proposal was necessary to stop judges from redefining marriage, and Democrats said Republicans pushed the proposal to rally their supporters before the November elections.

Forty-five states in the country have either state constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage or state statutes outlawing same-sex weddings.

The White House on Tuesday urged Congress to pass the measure to ban same-sex marriage.

"When activist judges insist on redefining the fundamental institution of marriage for their states or potentially for the entire country, the only alternative left to make the people's voice heard is an amendment of the Constitution," the White House said in a statement.

Source: Xinhua

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