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Brownback pushes federal gay marriage ban

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Sam Brownback is renewing his push for a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.[The Associated Press][1] reports: "The 'Marriage Protection Amendment' would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, effectively rescinding the Massachusetts law that made gay marriage legal last year."'None of us takes amending the Constitution lightly,' said Brownback, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary's subcommittee on the Constitution. 'The plain fact is this amendment has been exhaustively studied and it really is time to act.'"In a 5-4 vote divided along party lines, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., cast the deciding vote allowing the amendment to pass to the full Judiciary Committee and a likely vote in the Senate next year."Brownback denied any political motives, saying it is only a matter of time before the U.S. Supreme Court is asked to resolve the issue. He cited the decision of a Nebraska federal court earlier this year that struck down Nebraska's ban on gay marriage."'We are deluding ourselves if we think these ongoing challenges ... will not bear fruit,' Brownback said."Not much coverage of the issue - outside of the AP article - in this morning's papers, but it seems certain the issue will garner a lot more attention when it reaches the full Senate.Other news and commentary today:Sam Brownback links[(AllAfrica.com commentary) WHO Must Take Side of Malaria Victims:][2] US Senator Sam Brownback has been trying to force USAID to use DDT in its aid programmes but faces strong political and pressure-group opposition. Although even Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund have admitted on occasion that DDT could have a role in fighting malaria, practical opposition remains because they claim DDT harms the environment, despite proof to the contrary after 60 years of use.[(The Christian Post) Gov't, Religious Leaders Press Forward on Growing Coptic Persecution:][3] Government officials and religious leaders stepped up in their recognition of the growing anti-Coptic attacks in Alexandria, Egypt with a call to press forward against the Christian persecution. "We're here to focus on the ongoing persecution of the Coptic community," said Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kans.), Helsinki commission chairman of the U.S Copts Association, during a joint press conference Wednesday. "The situation in Egypt has not gotten better. It's gotten worse."[(Human Events commentary) Supporters of 'Machine Gun Sammy' Are Gun-Shy:][4] Q: Did you guys talk about the machine gun case? BROWNBACK: Yes, we talked about that in the Commerce Clause setting, but we talked more about his views toward the Commerce Clause. I tried really to cover a few different sets of issues and he's pretty careful about how he would view a case on the Supreme Court, but he also gives you a clear indication of here's how he thinks on issues. He's quite clear about his thinking towards the Constitution and judicial restraint. Pat Roberts links[(Washington Post) Senator Seeks to Defer Probe of CIA Prison Leak:][5] The chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence told Senate leaders yesterday that Congress should hold off on a probe of the disclosure of classified information on secret prisons to The Washington Post until the Justice Department completes its own inquiry. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) said he will "respectfully" request that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) back off a strongly worded request that a bicameral investigation into the disclosure be convened immediately. Frist spokeswoman Amy Call said the majority leader had not decided how to respond. "He always takes what his chairmen say into consideration," she said.[(The Hill) DoJ could preempt probe:][6] A House source familiar with discussions of the proposed congressional probe said he had been told that the Justice Department would be the primary agent for an investigation. "The precedent in the Intelligence Committee, on both sides, has been once the Justice Department starts the investigation we will wait on that," said Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. "If there is reason to continue after their investigation, we'll do it. It's the same thing we did on the Valerie Plame issue." (Todd Tiahrt comments also in story.)[(The Hill) Bungling meant leak letter leaked:][7] A leak suspected to have come from the office of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) complicated, confused and nearly derailed a joint effort by Senate and House Republican leaders to seek an investigation of the unauthorized release of classified information. ... Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said yesterday that he still had not seen Frist and Hastert's letter, and on Tuesday, when news of it broke, he was uncertain about what the leaders were requesting, according to a media report of his initial reaction.[(Associated Press) Iraq's Chalabi agrees to Senate questioning on his prewar role:][8] Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi offered Wednesday to be questioned by the Senate on his role in prewar Iraq but refused to apologize for fueling accusations that Saddam Hussein had hidden caches of weapons of mass destruction. ... The Senate Intelligence Committee already is looking into how the U.S. intelligence community used information provided by the Iraqi National Congress, with which Chalabi was long affiliated, said a spokeswoman for Sen. Pat Roberts, the committee's chairman. Roberts, a Kansas Republican, hopes to provide a detailed report on what information the exile group provided and what effect, if any, it had on U.S. policy-makers, said spokeswoman Sarah Little said, quoting Roberts.[(Washington Post) Intelligence Probe Takes Shape:][9] The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence yesterday worked out a tentative arrangement for pursuing its inquiry into how the Bush administration publicly portrayed the intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, with Democrats saying they expected some officials to be called to testify before the review is completed. ... "We want to look at all the intelligence community work and see how it was used," Feinstein said. Under the original plan of Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), the process was to have been simpler: Statements were to be analyzed to see only if there was intelligence that substantiated them, without looking at contrary intelligence.Jim Ryun links[(Agape Press) Commentary & News Briefs:][10] A Kansas congressman has introduced legislation that he hopes will encourage legal immigration in the United States. Republican Jim Ryun believes an important step toward fighting illegal immigration is to strengthen the country's legal naturalization process. That is why he has introduced the Strengthening American Citizenship Act," which gives incentives to immigrants who play by the rules. For one thing, it allows those who learn English a faster track to citizenshipHow to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][11] [1]: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1153AP_Congress_Gay_Marriage.html [2]: http://allafrica.com/stories/200511100015.html [3]: http://www.yahoo.com [4]: http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=10149 [5]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/09/AR2005110901976.html [6]: http://www.hillnews.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/Frontpage/111005/news1.html [7]: http://www.hillnews.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/Frontpage/111005/news4.html [8]: http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/news/1131622341210190.xml&coll=2 [9]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/09/AR2005110902203.html [10]: http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/11/82005h.asp [11]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed

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