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Washington DC – 3 June 2006
1. SOUNDBITE (English): George W. Bush, US President:
“Today, I want to explain why I support the Marriage Protection Amendment, and why I’m urging Congress to pass it and send it to the states for ratification. Marriage is the most enduring and important human institution, honoured and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith. Ages of experience have taught us that the commitment of a husband and a wife to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society. Marriage cannot be cut off from its cultural, religious, and natural roots without weakening this good influence on society. Government, by recognising and protecting marriage, serves the interests of all. In our free society, people have the right to choose how they live their lives. And in a free society, decisions about such a fundamental social institution as marriage should be made by the people – not by the courts. The American people have spoken clearly on this issue, both through their representatives and at the ballot box. In 1996, Congress approved the Defence of Marriage Act by overwhelming bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate, and President Clinton signed it into law. Unfortunately, activist judges and some local officials have made an aggressive attempt to redefine marriage in recent years. Since 2004, state courts in Washington, California, Maryland, and New York have overturned laws protecting marriage in those states. And in Nebraska, a federal judge overturned a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. These court decisions could have an impact on our whole Nation. The Defence of Marriage Act declares that no state is required to accept another state’s definition of marriage. If that act is overturned by activist courts, then marriages recognised in one city or state might have to be recognised as marriages everywhere else. That would mean that every state would have to recognise marriages redefined by judges in Massachusetts or local officials in San Francisco, no matter what their own laws or state constitutions say. This national question requires a national solution, and on an issue of such profound importance, that solution should come from the people, not the courts. A constitutional amendment will put a decision that is critical to American families and American society in the hands of the American people, which is exactly where it belongs. Democracy, not court orders, should decide the future of marriage in America. Thank you for listening.”
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 17 May 2004
2. Various of Marcia Hams and Susan Shepherd raising hands to give marriage oath and being announced married
4. Couple stand by wedding cake
5. Various of other gay couples getting married
US President George W Bush backed a resolution to amend the US Constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, in a radio address on Saturday ahead of next week’s Senate vote on the issue.
“Ages of experience have taught us that the commitment of a husband and a wife to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society,” Bush said in his Saturday radio address.
“Marriage cannot be cut off from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening this good influence on society.”
Democrats say Senate floor time is being wasted on the issue, and accuse Republicans of making a pre-midterm election appeal to social conservatives whose votes were key to Bush’s re-election.
This November, initiatives banning same-sex marriages are expected to be on the ballot in Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.
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