SO LONG, FMA….The outcome was never in doubt, but now it’s official.

The Senate on Wednesday rejected a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, but supporters said new votes for the measure represent progress that gives conservative Republicans reason to vote on Election Day.

The 49-48 vote fell 11 short of the 60 required to send the matter for an up-or-down tally by the full Senate. The amendment’s failure was no surprise, but supporters said the vote reflected growing support among senators and Americans.

“We’re building votes,” said Sen. David Vitter, R-La., who is among supporters of the ban who were not in the Senate when the amendment was last voted on in 2004. “That’s often what’s required over several years to get there, particularly to a two-thirds vote.”

Building votes? Proponents of the amendment couldn’t break 50 and bring this to the Senate floor in 2004 and they fell short of the same threshold again this year. At the rate they’re going, supporters might be able to get the two-thirds they need sometime around 2026. Good luck with that.

Well, at least this nonsense is behind us, right? Wrong. House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he plans to bring this same silly amendment to the floor next month, despite the fact that it already lost in the Senate.

Well, at least the Senate can get back to substantive policy issues, right? Wrong. Next up: flag-burning.

It’s going to be a long summer.

Update: Here’s the roll call on today’s vote.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.