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Bush criticizes
New Jersey same-sex unions ruling

Bush criticizes
New Jersey same-sex unions ruling

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Reacting to a New Jersey supreme court ruling that same-sex couples must be accorded the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexual married couples, President Bush said the ''sacred institution'' of marriage between a man and a woman must be defended.

President Bush said the ''sacred institution'' of marriage between a man and a woman must be defended against what he called activist court rulings. Bush briefly brought up the topic, unprompted, while raising money in Des Moines for a Republican congressional candidate, a day after the New Jersey supreme court decided that same-sex couples must be given the same rights as married heterosexual couples. The court left it up to the state's legislature to decide whether to extend those rights under the name of marriage, civil unions, or something else. The president said the New Jersey ruling ''raises doubts about the institution of marriage.... I believe marriage is a union between a man and a woman. I believe it's a sacred institution that is critical to the health of our society and the well-being of families, and it must be defended.'' Bush did not say how it must be defended. But he has advocated amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Earlier this year, such an amendment failed to win the needed two-thirds support in both the Senate and House. (AP)

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