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Cheney supports marriage ban but says states should decide

Cheney supports marriage ban but says states should decide

Vice President Dick Cheney, who has said that the issue of gay marriage should be left to the states, now says he would support President Bush if he proposes a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Cheney, whose daughter Mary is in a long-term same-sex relationship, told The Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News in interviews published Saturday that he still believes states should handle the issue but that he would support Bush's decision. "What I said in 2000 was that the question of whether or not some sort of status, legal status or sanction, ought to be granted in the case of a relationship between two individuals of the same sex was historically a matter the states had decided and resolved, and that is the way I preferred it," Cheney told the Post. In the interview with the News, Cheney said that is still his opinion. Bush has said he respects homosexuals' rights but draws the line at gay weddings. He asked government lawyers to research ways to legally define marriage as a union between a man and a woman after courts in Massachusetts and other states recognized the right of gays to the civil benefits of marriage. "At this stage, obviously, the president is going to have to make a decision in terms of what Administration policy is on this particular provision, and I will support whatever decision he makes," Cheney told the Post. Although there already is a federal law--the Defense of Marriage Act--that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, some argue that a gay-marriage ban should be written into the Constitution to prevent states from acting independently. Mary Cheney has not commented on her father's interview. A well-known figure in the Colorado gay community, Mary Cheney has worked for the Colorado Rockies baseball team and the Coors Brewing Co. doing outreach to gays and lesbians. She also worked as a personal aide to her father in the 2000 presidential campaign and joined the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign last July as director of vice presidential operations.

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