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National Key Votes

Date Bill No. Bill Title Outcome Vote
April 26, 2012 S 1925 Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act Bill Passed - Senate
(68 - 31)
Yea
Dec. 18, 2010 HR 2965 Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate
(65 - 31)
Nay
Oct. 22, 2009 HR 2647 2009-2010 Defense Appropriations Conference Report Adopted - Senate
(68 - 29)
Yea
June 7, 2006 S J Res 1 Same Sex Marriage Resolution Cloture Not Invoked - Senate
(49 - 48)
Yea
July 14, 2004 S J Res 40 Federal Marriage Amendment Cloture Not Invoked - Senate
(48 - 50)
Yea
June 11, 2002 S 625 Hate Crimes Bill Cloture Not Invoked - Senate
(54 - 43)
Nay
June 20, 2000 S Amdt 3473 Hate Crimes Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate
(57 - 42)
Nay
Sept. 10, 1996 HR 3396 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Bill Passed - Senate
(85 - 14)
Yea
Sept. 10, 1996 S 2056 Employment Nondiscrimination Act of 1996 Bill Failed - Senate
(49 - 50)
Nay
July 20, 1994 S Amdt 2320 Department of Agriculture Homosexual Policy Amendment Amendment Adopted - Senate
(59 - 41)
Yea
Sept. 9, 1993 S Amdt 783 Homosexuals in the Military Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate
(33 - 63)
Did Not Vote

About the Selection and Descriptions of Key Votes

Project Vote Smart provides easy access to Congressional and State voting records and maintains a collection of key votes grouped by issue. Key votes typically include the initial passage of legislation and final conference report vote versions (the compromised versions of bills passed in separate House and Senate versions). Vote Smart uses the following criteria to select key votes:

  1. The vote should be helpful in portraying how a member stands on a particular issue
  2. The vote should be clear for any person to understand
  3. The vote has received media attention
  4. The vote was passed or defeated by a very close margin
  5. Occasionally, if a specific bill is consistently inquired about on the Voter's Research Hotline, the vote will be added

Descriptions of the votes are written by Vote Smart staff and based on information included in the Congressional Record, State House Journals, or Senate Journals, with additional background information from newspapers, magazines, etc. Vote Smart provides summaries for each selected key vote. The summary does not necessarily reflect the final version of the bill.

The Key Votes Program follows Project Vote Smart's strict policies, procedures and structure that guarantee absolute impartiality and accuracy. In order to ensure that all Key Votes are non-partisan in their selection and language, each is approved by a group of over 160 political scientists and journalists from all fifty states.

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