The U.S. Senate has scuttled a measure banning gay marriage as an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The vote was 50-to-48, ten short of the 60 needed to keep the measure alive.
Republican Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania had said preserving traditional marriage was the ultimate form of "homeland security.''
But Democrat Tom Daschle of South Dakota said there was no
"urgent need'' for a constitutional amendment.
The amendment was sponsored by Colorado Republican Senator Wayne Allard and Republican Representative Marilyn Musgrave.
Supporters conceded in advance they didn't have the votes to pass the measure, but vow to keep the issue alive.