By CARL HULSE
Published: June 7, 2006
WASHINGTON, June 6 — Though some Republican candidates may relish the Senate's current concentration on same-sex marriage and other ideologically charged topics, Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island is not among them.
"It may stir up my primary voters a little bit against me," said Mr. Chafee, a centrist Republican up for re-election. He opposes the push for a constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage and is under intense pressure to back a proposed amendment that would forbid flag burning. "I'm collateral damage."
Other Republicans, including some conservatives, say Mr. Chafee may not be the only potential victim of what they see as a misguided effort to appeal to social conservatives by staging votes intended primarily to make a point about the party's values. They say that voters are more concerned about the economy, health care and immigration, and that replaying the marriage debate in particular could do as much damage as good as Republicans fight to retain control of Congress.