Bush Jnr: War President's homophobia to the fore AGAIN
Sunday June 4, 2006
Also at: Pakistan -- Sunday, June 04, 2006, Jamadi-ul-Awal 7, 1427 A.H.
Bush Calls for an Amendment Banning Same-Sex Nuptials By JIM RUTENBERG
WASHINGTON, June 3 President Bush on Saturday urged Congress to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, saying in his weekly radio address that marriage "cannot be cut off from its cultural, religious and natural roots."
Calling marriage "the most enduring and important human institution," Mr. Bush said that a constitutional amendment was needed because "activist judges and some local officials have made an aggressive attempt to redefine marriage in recent years."
Mr. Bush's radio address was the beginning of what White House aides had said would be a major push to support the marriage amendment, which the Senate is to begin debating in the next couple of days. The effort comes after weeks of increasingly vocal complaints from cultural conservatives that Mr. Bush and Congressional Republicans abandoned their issues after relying on them to win in the 2004 elections.
Democrats have accused Mr. Bush of turning to a reliably divisive culture war issue to re-energize his party's core, conservative voters, who have expressed disaffection with Republicans in several recent election year polls.
But White House aides have said that Mr. Bush is speaking out now because of several recent court challenges to same-sex marriage bans in the states and because the Senate is picking up the amendment. And they have said that a majority of the public opposes same-sex marriage, not just conservatives in the Republican Party.
Noting that he is to speak in favor of the amendment again on Monday, Mr. Bush said in his address on Saturday that the assembled audience would include Republicans, Democrats and independents.
Neither party expects the amendment to pass. It does not have anywhere near the two-thirds support it would need for approval in the Senate, let alone the two-thirds it would need in the House of Representatives before being taken up by the states three-fourths of which would have to approve the measure for it to become law.
The proposed amendment defines marriage as being between a man and a woman and prohibits judges from ruling that either the Constitution or any state gives same-sex couples the right to marry or the same legal rights as married couples.
Mr. Bush said in his address that the amendment would leave it up to state governments, and not the courts, whether to approve legal arrangements for same-sex couples such as civil unions.
"The constitutional amendment that the Senate will consider next week would fully protect marriage from being redefined," he said, "while leaving state legislatures free to make their own choices in defining legal arrangements other than marriage."