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CShine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-23-04 02:17 AM
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Backers Revise Amendment on Marriage
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The Congressional authors of a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage introduced a slightly reworded version on Monday, saying the changes were intended to make it clear that they do not seek to bar same-sex civil unions allowed by state law. As they prepared for a Senate hearing on Tuesday to examine the wording of potential amendments, advocates said the mainly technical revisions were meant to broaden support for the initiative and blunt the appeal of alternatives that could leave the definition of marriage up to individual states.

"This has got the ingredients that we need to have in it," said Senator Wayne Allard, the main sponsor along with a fellow Republican from Colorado, Representative Marilyn Musgrave. Mr. Allard said the changes would "reinforce the authority of state legislatures to determine benefits issues related to civil unions or domestic partnerships."

But the revisions quickly drew criticism as a gay rights group said it left the status of civil unions uncertain and a conservative group said it went too far in recognizing such unions.

"They are using that as a selling point; we find it as a detriment," said Robert H. Knight, director of the Culture and Family Institute, which is affiliated with Concerned Women for America, a conservative group. "Why is that a good thing, when civil unions are gay marriage by another name and will lead to the destruction of marriage?"

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/23/politics/23AMEN.html

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