During the debate, an interesting exchange took place between Sen. Edward Kennedy, an opponent of the amendment, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, a proponent of the amendment. The AP reports:
"The Republican leadership is asking us to spend time writing bigotry into the Constitution," said Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, which legalized gay marriage in 2003. "A vote for it is a vote against civil unions, against domestic partnership, against all other efforts for states to treat gays and lesbians fairly under the law."
In response, Hatch fumed: "Does he really want to suggest that over half of the United States Senate is a crew of bigots?"
That's exactly what Sen. Kennedy meant Sen. Hatch. Anyone who would support writing discrimination into the Constitution against any group of Americans is obviously exhibiting bigotry towards the affected group of Americans. Indiana's Senator Richard Lugar chose to side with the bigots, while Sen. Evan Bayh, at least on this vote, sided with supporters of equality.
Notwithstanding today's defeat in the Senate, House Majority Leader John Boehner says the House will take up debate of the amendment next month. "This is an issue that is of significant importance to many Americans," Boehner told reporters. "We have significant numbers of our members who want a vote on this, so we are going to have a vote."