State update: (January 2005)
Alaska, Hawaii, Missouri, Nebraska, and Nevada already ban gay marriage.
For November 2004's results, voters said:
8 July 2004: President George W Bush defined marriage one week after his nation's birthday celebration, calling upon all citizens to defend the moral values of marriage. And the only real moral law is for one man and one woman to pledge their love before God, he concludes. However, before a ban on gay marriage becomes Constitutional Amendment XXVIII, three age-old amendments must be altered as not to open loop holes for gay marriage advocates.
Constitutional Amendements have been added to address: |
26 Right to vote at age 18
25 Pesidential succession rules
24 Poll taxes
23 Presidential votes in Washington D.C.
22 Presidential term limits
21 Prohibition repealed (18)
20 Presidential term and succession
19 Women may vote
17 Election of Senators
16 Income tax
15 Rights not denied based upon race
14 Privileges, due process, equal protection:
13 Abolishing slavery
12 Election of president and vice president
11 Lawsuits against states
10 Rights reserved to states:
9 Non-enumerated rights:
8 Excess bail or fines, cruel punishment
7 Common law suits
6 Right to jury trial and counsel
5 Double jeopardy and self-incrimination, due process
4 Search and seizure
3 Quartering of troops
2 Right to bear arms
1 Freedom of religon, press, assembly, petition
Bush says legalizing gay marriage would redefine the most fundamental institution of civilization and that a constitutional amendment is needed to protect it. In his weekly radio address, Bush says that a few activist judges and local officials (targeting the mayors of townships granting marriage licenses to same sex couples in 2004) can not take it upon themselves to change the meaning of marriage.
"If courts create their own arbitrary definition of marriage as a mere legal contract, and cut marriage off from its cultural, religious and natural roots, then the meaning of marriage is lost and the institution is weakened," Bush said.
Bush planned his radio address to coincide with Senate debate begun 9 July on a constitutional amendment banning marriage between those of the same sex.
Consistently throughout 2004, polls show voters split on whether or not to ban or allow gay marriage. Between 49-51 percent say they support a constitutional amendment, while 48 percent say they oppose amending the constitution for defining marriage.
With the United States sending additional troops to Iraq, and while the U.S. remains steadfast in occupation of Afghanistan, political analysts question why, at this time during an election year, the president would work on amending the constitution for a social issue.
Senator Patrick Leahy, (D-VT.) spoke against Republicans using the proposed constitutional amendment as a "bulletin board for campaign sloganeering."
Bush singled out Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court, which defined marriage an evolving paradigm. They send "a message to the next generation that marriage has no enduring meaning, and that ages of moral teaching and human experience have nothing to teach us about this institution," Bush said.
The president urged the House and Senate to send to the states for ratification an amendment that defines marriage in the United States as a "union of a man and woman as husband and wife," and should such a vote reach the state level it will pass.
Senate Democrats say they will not toss barriers in front of the resolution, which paves the way for a vote on the amendment as early as 15 July.
Understating that such an amendment to the U.S. Constitution should not be taken lightly, Bush said "to defend marriage, our nation has no other choice." As the U.S. Constitution is written, Amendments 14, 10, and 9; currently prohibit "banning" rights of individuals, states, or groups of U.S. citizens, and those three amendments will require alternative wording.