Tom Daley
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Marriage Protection Amendment gets boost in State of the Union

During his yearly State of the Union speech on Wednesday evening, President Bush against expressed support for a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage nationwide. "Because marriage is a sacred institution and the foundation of society, it should not be redefined by activist judges," he told the nation. "For the good of families, children, and society, I support a constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage." But the two-line statement came near the end of the speech, which focused mainly on the war in Iraq and Bush's controversial plan to reform Social Security. Some argued it was merely a quick nod to the social conservatives who voted for the president in November and wasn't being given the prominence it held during the election or during last year's State of the Union address, when Bush first said he would support a proposal to amend the constitution. Indeed, a Bush spokesman recently said the president wouldn't push for the amendment because there wasn't enough support for it in the U.S. Senate, which has not listed it as a top priority for the current session. The proposal failed in both houses of Congress last year. Still, gay rights groups were quick to point out the harmful nature of any presidential support for the Marriage Protection Amendment, which was reintroduced in January by Republican senator Wayne Allard. "Log Cabin urges the president and the Congress to focus on expanding freedom and liberty for all Americans, not on pushing a failed antifamily federal marriage amendment," said Log Cabin Republicans president Patrick Guerriero. "By working to save Social Security, win the war on terror, reform the tax code, and reauthorize Ryan White, the president and the Congress can improve the lives of all Americans, including gay and lesbian Americans." "President Bush's support for this amendment is the only immoral action mentioned in his speech that threatens the stability of American families," said Dave Noble, executive director for the National Stonewall Democrats. "In 2004, President Bush's remarks to Congress sparked successful antigay legislation across the country. In each of the 13 states where amendments to state constitutions passed, Republican leaders cited President Bush's call for a federal amendment in the State of the Union address as inspiration for their actions."

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