Federal Marriage Amendment

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The Federal Marriage Amendment H.J. Res. 56 (FMA) (also referred to by proponents as the Marriage Protection Amendment) was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution which would have limited marriage in the United States to unions of one man and one woman. The FMA would also have prevented judicial extension of marriage rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples, as well as preventing polygamy. An amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires the support of two thirds of each house of Congress, and ratification by three fourths of the states (currently thirty-eight). The most recent Congressional vote to take place on the proposed Amendment occurred in the United States House of Representatives on July 18, 2006 when the Amendment failed 236 yea to 187 nay votes, falling short of the 290 yea votes required for passage in that body. The Senate has only voted on cloture motions with regard to the proposed Amendment, the last of which was on June 7, 2006 when the motion failed 49 yea to 48 nay votes, falling short of the 60 yea votes required to proceed to consideration of the Amendment and the 67 votes which would be required to pass the amendment.

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