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Bush Tolerates Civil Unions, Thinks States Should Decide

Melanie Hunter | Deputy Managing Editor | Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Bush Tolerates Civil Unions, Thinks States Should Decide

(CNSNews.com) - President Bush Tuesday expressed support for granting civil unions to homosexuals and indicated that the decision should be left up to states, putting him at odds with conservatives and pro-family groups.

During an ABC interview on Tuesday, Bush said, "I don't think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that's what a state chooses to do so."

The president acknowledged that his views may contradict the Republican platform, which is opposed to civil unions and same-sex "marriage." Bush has pushed for a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

"I view the definition of marriage different from legal arrangements that enable people to have rights," said Bush. "States ought to be able to have the right to pass laws that enable people to be able to have rights like others."

Bush's political opponent, Sen. John Kerry also supports civil unions for homosexual couples and opposes same-sex "marriage," but Kerry is against a constitutional amendment banning same-sex "marriage."

The Alliance for Marriage, which launched a campaign in favor of a federal marriage amendment, supports the president's stance.

A federal marriage amendment banning same-sex "marriage," not civil unions, "is the way for America to resolve this in the fairest way, the best way," the Associated Press quoted Matt Daniels, president of the group, as saying. "We do indeed support the president's position."

But another conservative group, Concerned Women for America, is at odds with the president's position.

"Civil unions are a government endorsement of homosexuality," the AP quoted Robert Knight, director of the Culture and Family Institute of CWA, as saying. "But I don't think President Bush has thought about it in that way. He seems to be striving for neutrality while defending marriage itself."

Knight added that "counterfeits" of marriage, such as civil unions, "hurt the real thing," the AP reports.

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