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Edwards: Same-sex ‘marriage’ issue should be left to states

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards told a national TV audience Feb. 13 that states such as Massachusetts should be allowed to legalize same-sex “marriage” without federal government interference.

“I think we ought to let states do what they think is right,” Edwards said on NBC’s “Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

“… If California chooses to recognize same-sex marriage, that’s fine. If Massachusetts chooses to recognize it, then the federal government ought to honor that.”

Edwards reiterated his opposition to the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment that would protect the traditional definition of marriage. It has been introduced in Congress and has eight supporters in the Senate, 113 in the House.

Democratic frontrunner John Kerry’s position is similar to Edwards’. Conservatives, though, fear that Kerry’s and Edwards’ hands-off approach will result in courts legalizing same-sex “marriage” nationwide.

Edwards’ comments come as more than 1,000 same-sex couples continue to “wed” in San Francisco, despite a state law that explicitly prohibits such unions. The Associated Press reported Feb. 16 that some 1,700 same-sex couples have gotten “married” since the city government began issuing licenses to homosexuals Feb. 12. The demand has been so great that dozens were turned away over the weekend.

Two pro-family organizations, the Alliance Defense Fund and the Liberty Counsel, have filed suit in California state court seeking to have the licenses invalidated. Liberty Counsel is representing the Campaign for California Families; its hearing is scheduled for Feb. 17.

In 2000 California voters overwhelmingly approved a new statute reading, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” It passed by a margin of 61 to 38 percent.

“San Francisco’s open defiance of state law and trashing of traditional marriage is waking up the people all across the civilized world,” Campaign for California Families Executive Director Randy Thomasson said in a statement. “Parents and grandparents are shocked at seeing these counterfeit marriages being paraded on TV.”

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom started the controversy Feb. 10 by asking the county clerk to see what needed to be done to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. When the Liberty Counsel filed suit seeking to prevent the licenses from being issued, Newsom ordered the process expedited.

Apparently, Newsom got the idea while attending President Bush’s State of the Union Address as a guest of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that as Newsom listened to Bush talk about the possible need for a constitutional marriage amendment, he began to consider breaking state law.

But not every same-sex “marriage” proponent was supportive. The Chronicle reported that Rep. Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat and an open homosexual, told Newsom that the time wasn’t right.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, is considering his options in the wake of a state constitutional convention’s inability to pass a state constitutional amendment. Because of a ruling by the state’s high court, same-sex couples in Massachusetts likely will be issued same-sex licenses sometime in mid-May.

The Associated Press reported that Romney is considering issuing an executive order barring the state Public Health Department from issuing licenses to same-sex couples.
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  • Michael Foust