[FoRK] "Hopeful and Decent"

Joseph S. Barrera III joe at barrera.org
Sun Nov 7 18:27:14 PST 2004

Sigh. Deep sigh.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	[lbo-talk] Rove: banning SSM "hopeful & decent"
Date: 	Sun, 7 Nov 2004 21:21:29 -0500
From: 	Doug Henwood <dhenwood at panix.com>
Reply-To: 	lbo-talk at lbo-talk.org
To: 	lbo-talk <lbo-talk at lbo-talk.org>

Bush to Seek Gay-Marriage Ban in New Term -Aide Sun Nov 7,12:28 PM ET

By Randall Mikkelsen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush (news - web sites) will renew a 
quest in his second term for a constitutional amendment to ban 
same-sex marriage as essential to a "hopeful and decent" society, his 
top political aide said on Sunday.

Bush's call for a constitutional ban on gay marriages failed last 
year in Congress, but his position was seen as a key factor 
motivating Christian conservatives concerned about "moral values" to 
turn out in large numbers and help supply Bush with a winning margin 
in last week's election.

"If we want to have a hopeful and decent society, we ought to aim for 
the ideal, and the ideal is that marriage ought to be, and should be, 
a union of a man and a woman," Bush political aide Karl Rove told 
"Fox News Sunday."

Rove said Bush would "absolutely" push the Republican-controlled 
Congress for a constitutional amendment, which he said was needed to 
avert the aims of "activist judges" who would permit gay marriages.

Renewing his push for an amendment -- despite its slim chances of 
success -- would be a way for Bush to reward his conservative base. 
The amendment would face a steep hurdle winning the needed approval 
of three-fourths of the states.

Other items on Bush's second-term agenda included nominating -- 
without a "litmus test" on abortion -- judges who would "strictly 
interpret" the Constitution, and tax reform. Rove said Bush wanted to 
review the tax code "in its entirety," which suggested a broad-based 
reform was possible.

Republicans' ability to deliver on their campaign agenda will help 
determine whether the party can realize its potential to retain a 
governing majority for decades, he said.

The gay-marriage issue leaped into the campaign spotlight this year 
after Massachusetts legalized the practice in response to a state 
Supreme Court ruling, and San Francisco began performing gay 
marriages in defiance of a state ban.

Ballot measures in 11 states to ban gay marriages all passed last 
week. Gay-rights groups have vowed to keep fighting for legal 
protections of same-sex relationships despite the election setbacks.


Bush said last month that he disagreed with a Republican Party 
platform provision that would also ban civil unions of same-sex 
couples, and he said states should be able to allow such legal 
arrangements if they wish.

Rove elaborated on this on Sunday.

"He (Bush) believes that there are ways that states can deal with 
some of the issues that have been raised, for example, visitation 
rights in hospitals, or the right to inherit, or benefit rights, 
property rights, but these can all be dealt with at the state level, 
without overturning the definition of marriage as between a man and a 

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (news, bio, voting record), a Maine 
Republican, said a constitutional amendment was unnecessary. "The 
states are perfectly able to handle this important issue on their 
own," Collins said on CBS's "Face the Nation."


Asked whether Bush intended to appoint anti-abortion judges to 
Supreme Court vacancies considered likely to come open in Bush's 
second term, Rove said the president would not use a litmus test. He 
said Bush wanted his judicial nominees to be "impartial umpires" who 
would strictly interpret the law and Constitution.

He played down a conservative firestorm over a suggestion last week 
by Sen. Arlen Specter (news, bio, voting record), a Pennsylvania 
Republican, that Bush would have a hard time winning confirmation of 
any Supreme Court nominees who would overturn the landmark Roe v. 
Wade (news - web sites) decision legalizing abortion.

Specter is expected to become chairman of the Senate Judiciary 
Committee (news - web sites) with authority over judicial nominations.

Rove said Specter has assured Bush that his nominees would receive a 
prompt hearing and those picked for an appellate court would receive 
a vote by the full Senate.

Specter said on CBS that he had only been trying to point out that 
Republicans, while they expanded their Senate control in Tuesday's 
election, still lacked the Senate votes to overcome a united 
Democratic front.

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