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Bush denounces gay marriage in address to evangelical Christians

Bush denounces gay marriage in address to evangelical Christians

President Bush told evangelical Christians what they wanted to hear Thursday, ticking off highlights of his "compassionate conservative" agenda, including halting late-term abortions and banning gay marriage. Evangelical Christians represent a core constituency for the president, strongly backing him in the 2000 election. He opened his address via satellite to the National Association of Evangelicals Convention in Colorado by lavishing praise on the group: "You're doing God's work with conviction and kindness." The president reiterated his intention to get a constitutional ban on gay marriage and said he would continue pressing to allow religious charities a greater hand in delivering social services. He pushed another hot-button issue for conservatives when he said he would continue to nominate to the courts like-minded judges who "will interpret the law and not legislate from the bench." Bush placed special emphasis on his efforts to curtail abortion, a goal fervently pursued by conservative Christians. "We're working to build a culture of life," he said, noting that he had taken "an important step" last November when he signed legislation outlawing certain late-term abortions. Three federal judges immediately blocked the law, and Bush promised, "We will vigorously defend this law against any attempt to overturn it in the courts." However, Bush's Justice Department this week backed off its effort to subpoena abortion records from six Planned Parenthood affiliates as part of the government's defense of the new law.

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