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Democratic presidential contender John Edwards says he supports civil unions for gay couples but isn't ready to back same-sex marriage.
The 2004 vice presidential nominee said in an interview broadcast Sunday that he is not ready to take a position yet on same-sex marriage and acknowledged that his upbringing in the rural South makes this a troubling issue for him. ''It's easy for me to say, 'Civil unions, yes, partnership benefits, yes,''' he said. But on same-sex marriage, he said, ''I'm just not there yet.''
The former North Carolina senator, who announced his 2008 candidacy last week, also said it is more important to invest in universal health care and lifting people out of poverty than to reduce the budget deficit.
Edwards, Iowa governor Tom Vilsack, and Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich have been the only Democrats to announce their 2008 White House bids. (AP)