Marriage Amendment Rejected in House
The Marriage Protection Act failed to pass in the House of Representatives Sept. 30, missing a two-thirds majority with a 227-186 vote. The bill failed to pass in the Senate in July. Pro-family groups expressed disappointment at the House vote, but said they would continue to fight for a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman. "This vote is very important because it puts lawmakers on record concerning this issue," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice. "No one expected the marriage amendment to garner two-thirds approval in the House on the first vote. But this majority vote in favor of the amendment sets the stage for this amendment to return to the House in the next Congress."
Legislator Under Fire From Millionaire Activist
Republican Colorado Rep. Marilyn Musgrave issued an urgent letter to supporters in October, saying she had been targeted for defeat by Tim Gill, former chairman and founder of Quark Xpress and founder of The Gill Foundation, a gay rights organization. Musgrave wrote that Gill has poured $1 million into attack ads against her campaign, which she believes is because of her support for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. At press time, election results had not been announced.
FDA Approves Medical Chip Implant
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved use of an implantable computer chip that can pass a patient's medical information to doctors, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Roughly the size of a grain of rice, the VeriChip, produced by Delray Beach, Fla.-based Applied Digital Solutions, already are being used in pets, livestock and 200 people working in Mexico's attorney general's office who access secure areas. The Oct. 13 decision marks the first time the FDA has approved the use of such a device, which stores a code that releases patient information when a scanner passes over it. In addition to its prior use for security-related matters, the chip is also being used in club-goers in Spain, who use the device to speed drink orders and payment, the AP said.