Bush: Too Soon for Amendment Banning Gay
Wed July 2,
2003 01:14 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President
Bush on Wednesday declined to endorse the idea of an amendment to
the U.S. Constitution banning same-sex marriages, saying he did not
know if one was necessary yet.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican and a
close Bush ally in Congress, said on Sunday he "absolutely"
supported a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as
being between a man and a woman. He spoke after the Supreme Court
struck down state sodomy laws.
"I don't know if it's necessary yet," Bush told reporters at the
White House. "Let's let the lawyers look at the full ramifications
of the recent Supreme Court hearing."
He added: "What I do support is a notion that marriage is between
a man and a woman."
U.S. law defines marriage for federal purposes as between one
woman and one man. Gay marriages are forbidden in the United States
but Vermont allows civil unions.
Debate over the issue has intensified since Canada announced
earlier this month it would legalize gay marriages. The U.S. high
court last week struck down state sodomy laws, a decision that
conservative critics say could open the door to same-sex marriages
in the United States.