Bush to Support Ban on Gay Marriage; Berry & Pryor Also Sound Off on Issue

February 24, 2004 - Posted at 4:53 p.m. CDT

WASHINGTON, DC - President Bush says he wants to stop judges from changing the definition of the "most enduring human institution."  So he says he is going to support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

But he wants states to have the option of allowing civil unions between same-sex couples.

A group of gay Republicans is accusing Bush of  "pandering to the radical right" by supporting a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

But a group that supports a ban, the American Center for Law and Justice, is applauding Bush.  It says it wants marriage to remain an institution between one man and one woman.

Meanwhile, Arkansas' First District Congressman Marion Berry released the following statement this afternoon regarding the issue: "I personally believe that marriage is, and should remain, a union between one man and one woman.  The current law clearly states marriage is a union between only a man and a woman.  I believe this law is adequate to protect the sanctity of marriage; as Congress continues to debate how best to address this issue, I will be advocating this point of view."

Senator Mark Pryor said, "I oppose same-sex marriage and fully support the Defense of Marriage Act which clearly defines marriage as a union between only a man and a woman.  It further declares that no state is required to honor a same-sex relationship sanctioned by another state.  This is the supreme law of the land, passed overwhelmingly by Congress and it reflects the will of a vast majority of the American people."