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Kerry backs Mass. marriage amendment, opposes federal one

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Democratic presidential frontrunner John Kerry said Feb. 25 that he would support an amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution that would ban same-sex “marriage” while legalizing civil unions.

But that is the only type of amendment he would support, he said in an interview with The Boston Globe.

“If the Massachusetts Legislature crafts an appropriate amendment that provides for partnership and civil unions, then I would support it, and it would advance the goal of equal protection. I think that you need to have civil union[s]. That’s my position,” he said.

According to The Globe Kerry stressed that he would oppose a state amendment that would ban same-sex “marriage” while not legalizing civil unions. In addition, the newspaper reported that Kerry reiterated his opposition to a federal amendment protecting the traditional definition of marriage.

President Bush came out Feb. 24 in support of a federal constitutional marriage amendment, saying it may be the only way to prevent nationwide same-sex “marriage.”

“An amendment to the Constitution is never to be undertaken lightly,” Bush said. “The amendment process has addressed many serious matters of national concern. And the preservation of marriage rises to this level of national importance.”

Massachusetts legislators have failed once to pass a state constitutional amendment and are set to meet again March 11. It must pass two consecutive legislative sessions before going to voters, which would be 2006 at the earliest.

Kerry’s remarks frustrated supporters of same-sex “marriage,” The Globe reported.

“It is harmful for us and could well affect the vote,” Arline Isaacson, co-chairwoman of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, told the newspaper.

The Massachusetts’ high court has ruled in favor of same-sex “marriage” and has set mid-May as the time when marriage licenses will be issued.
For more information on the debate over same-sex “marriage,” visit BP’s story collection at:

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