Bush voices support of amendment banning gay marriage

June 05, 2006

American Preident Bush
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ending months of speculation, President George W. Bush said Thursday he will support and promote a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage just days before a scheduled Senate vote on the issue.

The amendment, which would prohibit states from recognizing same-sex marriages, needs a two-thirds majority in the Senate and House, and then would need to be ratified by at least 38 state legislatures before becoming a law.

So far, that looks highly unlikely, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which on Thursday reported that supporters of the amendment are struggling to find even half of the 100-member Senate to back it, let alone the two-thirds needed.

Several Republicans oppose the measure, and so far only one Democrat – Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson – says he will vote for it.

Republicans even closer to the Bush camp have indicated they will not support the amendment. Vice President Dick Cheney, whose daughter Mary is openly gay, has vocally opposed the measure.

The Senate Judiciary Committee narrowly approved the amendment on May 18 in a vote along party lines that had Democrats and Republicans in a shouting patch, the Post-Intelligencer reported.

The Massachusetts Supreme Court decided to legalize such marriages in 2003. A year later, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom issued thousands of marriage licenses to gay couples, which have since been revoked.

Initiatives banning same-sex marriages are expected to be on the ballot in Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin this November. In 2004, 13 states approved initiatives prohibiting gay marriage or civil unions.

"The president firmly believes that marriage is an enduring and sacred institution between men and women and has supported measures to protect the sanctity of marriage," White House spokesman Ken Lisaius said.

A White House spokesperson said to expect the president to comment on the issue on Monday, the day before it goes to a vote in the Senate. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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