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Proposed Amendment to Ban Gay Marriages

Submitted by Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colorado

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President Bush has come out in favor of amending the United States Constitution to make marriage legally defined as only between one man and one woman. This would ban gay and lesbian couples from marrying and quite possibly could do away with civil unions and partner benefits.

What exactly does the amendment say? The first version of the proposed amendment submitted by Representative Marilyn Musgrave of Colorado reads as follows:

"Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups."

A new version was released in March 2004, that supporters say would leave the room open for states to recognize civil unions. The revised text reads as follows:

Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the Constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.

Further reading: What is the difference between Marriage and Civil Unions?

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