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Karl Rove: Bush will continue fight for gay marriage ban

Karl Rove: Bush will continue fight for gay marriage ban

President George W. Bush will continue his push to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban marriage for gay and lesbian couples nationwide, top White House political strategist Karl Rove said Sunday. During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Rove said that the president, who earlier this year endorsed the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment, would "absolutely" continue that fight in his second term. "Without the protection of that amendment, we are at the mercy of activist federal judges or activist state judges who could, without the involvement of the people, determine...that marriage no longer consists of a union between a man and a woman," Rove said. "Marriage is a very important part of our culture and our society. If we want to have a hopeful and decent society, we ought to aim for the ideal. And the ideal is that marriage ought to be and should be a union of a man and a woman." Rove said the president does support the idea that states could provide civil unions to gay couples, which give some legal rights to gay couples but stop short of conferring marital status. "He believes that there are ways that states can deal with some of the issues that have been raised--for example, visitation rights in hospitals or the right to inherit, or benefit rights, property rights. But these can all be dealt with at the state level without overturning the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman," Rove said. "We cannot allow activist local elected officials to thumb their nose at 5,000 years of human history." In what was widely considered an embarrassing political defeat for Bush, separate versions of the Federal Marriage Amendment failed to pass in the U.S. House and Senate this year. Voters in 11 states, however, voted overwhelmingly during the November 2 elections to impose constitutional bans on same-sex marriage, showing strong support for the measures, which generally passed by margins of three to one.

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