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Huckabee defends
traditional marriage

Huckabee defends
traditional marriage

Republican Mike Huckabee said Friday that marriage shouldn't be treated as an experiment, in response to questions about whether Vice President Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter should have the right to wed.

The former Arkansas governor, who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination, said heterosexual marriages face enough challenges without adding new configurations to the mix.

''Taking on a new definition doesn't make sense right now,'' Huckabee said in an interview with the Associated Press after speaking to business leaders in New Hampshire.

Mary Cheney, 37, announced in December that she and her partner of 15 years, Heather Poe, were starting a family. She has not said how the child was conceived. The baby is due in the spring and will be the vice president's sixth grandchild.

Huckabee declined to comment on Mary Cheney's decision.

''I wouldn't get near specific cases,'' he said.

But when pressed, he said the historic definition of marriage has worked for so long for a reason.

''People have a right to decide how they live their lives. But they have to respect not changing the definition of marriage,'' said Huckabee, who served as a pastor in Baptist churches before becoming governor in 1996.

In 2004, the year Arkansas approved a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, Huckabee said the ban was needed to quiet activists looking to rewrite the nation's social code. But Huckabee also said it was OK to say a person's sexual preference was nobody's business, ''even though it's not consistent with the biblical norm of male and female.''

In 2006, when the Arkansas supreme court rejected a ban on gay foster parents that had been put in by a state board, Huckabee said through a spokeswoman: ''I'm very disappointed that the court seems more interested in what's good for gay couples than what's good for children needing foster care.'' (Philip Elliot, AP)

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