The Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA), also referred to by proponents as the Marriage Protection Amendment, was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution that would legally define marriage as a union of one man and one woman. The FMA would also prevent judicial extension of marriage rights to same-sex (gay) or other unmarried homosexual couples.
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. The last congressional vote on the proposed amendment occurred in the House of Representatives on July 18, 2006, when the motion failed 236 to 187, falling short of the 290 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 to 48, falling short of the 60 votes required to allow the Senate to proceed to consideration of the proposal and the 67 votes