Gay Rights Activists Optimistic Marriage Momentum Will Shift to Congress

Congress poised to pick up where Supreme Court leaves off on LBGT issues


A majority of those polled believe same-sex marriage should be legal or illegal based on the U.S. Constitution, not the states.

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Conservative groups are optimistic that the latest outburst of support for gay marriage is just a politically convenient move that won't yield any substantial policy overhauls.

The National Organization for Marriage views many of the Democratic senators' announcements as timed to "exert themselves on the Supreme Court decision."

"The fact that a few more Senate Democrats are coming out for the Democratic platform does not change the landscape on Capitol Hill," says Thomas Peters, the communications director for the National Organization for Marriage.

Peters says the more important trend may be what happens with Democratic senators running for reelection in 2014 in Republican states. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and Sen. Mary Landriu, D-La.,for example, have stayed quiet on the issue, he notes.

"They understand it is a vote loser," Peters says. "Whenever a state-wide politician comes out for gay marriage, Why he is staring at the cameras, his grassroots supporters are quietly exiting. "

On immigration reform, NOM says it would be very surprised if Congress included the LBGT "poison pill" in legislation the Latino community has been waiting for over the decades.

[DEBATE CLUB: Should the Supreme Court Overturn DOMA?]

"That would be grossly unfair to Latinos who have been waiting for comprehensive immigration reform," Peters says.

The Family Research Council, another group that believes marriage is between a man and a woman, also says it does not support ENDA and does not believe Congress would either because it infringes on "religious liberties."

"It would force businesses to tolerate transgender and cross dressers. This is actually setting up for discrimination and could hurt religious liberty," says Tom McClusky, the vice president of government affairs for the FRC.

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