When the saints come marching in

The Senate defeats the gay marriage ban, but not before Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter declares it the most important issue in America.

Published June 7, 2006 2:28PM (EDT)

Sorry, Sen. Inhofe, but the gentleman from Louisiana just passed you in the pandering lane.

The Republicans' constitutional amendment banning gay marriage got just 49 votes this morning, far short of the two-thirds majority it needed -- and was never going to get -- for passage. Along the way to the vote, Republican Sen. David Vitter defended the GOP's efforts on the election-year measure by saying: "I don't believe there's any issue that's more important than this one."

We don't mean to speak for anybody else, but we're wondering if any of Vitter's displaced constituents in New Orleans -- or, say, the 57 Louisiana families who have lost loved ones in Iraq -- might see America's priorities just a little differently.

As senators voted on the ban this morning, Kansas Republican Sam Brownback vowed that "people are going to be responsible for this vote." Where men like Vitter are concerned, we can only hope that he's right.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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