Democrats on Tuesday accused President George W. Bush of tinkering with the Constitution in support of a Federal Marriage Amendment to divert election-year attention from his record. The White House denied the allegation.
"All Americans should be concerned when a president who is in political trouble tries to tamper with the Constitution of the United States at the start of his reelection campaign," said Democratic presidential front-runner John Kerry, who is not in favor of gay marriage but will oppose the amendment if it reaches the Senate floor. Bush is "looking for a wedge issue to divide the American people," he added.
Campaigning in Georgia, where the state legislature is debating its own ban on gay marriage, Democratic presidential candidate and North Carolina senator John Edwards said he is against the president's idea of a constitutional amendment. "I don't personally support gay marriage myself," he said. "My position has always been that it's for the states to decide."
Democratic congressman and presidential candidate Dennis J. Kucinich said, "I oppose the amendment. Equal protection of the law, including the right to marry, must be made available to all Americans regardless of race, color, creed, or sexual orientation. The amendment as supported by the president is a continuation of his divisive policies, which are not worthy of a free nation or a freedom-loving people."