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Tracer Bullet 10-26-04 04:40 PM

Bush says he supports civil unions
 
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/26/po...gin&oref=login


Bush Says His Party Is Wrong to Oppose Gay Civil Unions

By ELISABETH BUMILLER
Published: October 26, 2004

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 - President Bush said in an interview this past weekend that he disagreed with the Republican Party platform opposing civil unions of same-sex couples and that the matter should be left up to the states.

Mr. Bush has previously said that states should be permitted to allow same-sex unions, even though White House officials have said he would not have endorsed such unions as governor of Texas. But Mr. Bush has never before made a point of so publicly disagreeing with his party's official position on the issue.

In an interview on Sunday with Charles Gibson, an anchor of "Good Morning America" on ABC, Mr. Bush said, "I don't think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that's what a state chooses to do so." ABC, which broadcast part of the interview on Monday, is to broadcast the part about civil unions on Tuesday.

According to an ABC transcript, Mr. Gibson then noted to Mr. Bush that the Republican Party platform opposed civil unions.

"Well, I don't," Mr. Bush replied.


He added: "I view the definition of marriage different from legal arrangements that enable people to have rights. And I strongly believe that marriage ought to be defined as between a union between a man and a woman. Now, having said that, states ought to be able to have the right to pass laws that enable people to be able to have rights like others."

Mr. Gibson then asked, "So the Republican platform on that point, as far as you're concerned, is wrong?"

"Right," Mr. Bush replied.

Mr. Bush announced in February that he supported an amendment to the Constitution that would ban same-sex marriage, and said at the time that the union of a man and a woman was "the most fundamental institution of civilization." He acted under enormous pressure from his conservative supporters, who had lobbied the White House to have the president speak out in an election year on a matter of vital importance to them.

But Mr. Bush also said at the time that states should be permitted to have same-sex civil unions if they chose.

Mr. Bush has sought to walk a careful line between pleasing conservatives who oppose same-sex marriage and not alienating more moderate voters who might see bigotry in his views. Mr. Bush's support for civil unions and his opposition to his party on the issue is in part an effort to reach out to swing voters, whom he needs to win on Nov. 2.
Now, when the FMA became an issue back in February, I don't remember hearing that Bush supported civil unions. I don't doubt he's felt this way the whole time, but I question why he's making it so clear now. I think he knows that he's going to lose a lot of gay votes from the FMA backlash, and he's trying to shore it up.

dick_grayson 10-26-04 04:42 PM

This doesn't matter because Kerry is a flip-flopper, right?

VinVega 10-26-04 04:44 PM

This could be another assault weapons ban. You know, he's for it, but damn it if that Congress isn't. ;)

Seriously, it's nice to hear at least.

Captain Pike 10-26-04 04:45 PM

Bush begins to realize that he won't be able to win with just his base. He's making an appeal to Democrats to vote for him by softening his position IMO.

Red Dog 10-26-04 04:51 PM


Mr. Bush announced in February that he supported an amendment to the Constitution that would ban same-sex marriage, and said at the time that the union of a man and a woman was "the most fundamental institution of civilization." He acted under enormous pressure from his conservative supporters, who had lobbied the White House to have the president speak out in an election year on a matter of vital importance to them.

But Mr. Bush also said at the time that states should be permitted to have same-sex civil unions if they chose.

This is exactly what I remember so how is this a flip-flop? Plus if you look at the language of the amendment he supported, it is consistent with this belief.

Groucho 10-26-04 04:54 PM

Looks like he had "the talk" with VP Cheney.

wendersfan 10-26-04 04:55 PM

I'm so confused.

Tracer Bullet 10-26-04 04:57 PM


Originally posted by Red Dog
This is exactly what I remember so how is this a flip-flop? Plus if you look at the language of the amendment he supported, it is consistent with this belief.
But is it? I'm not convinced. The FMA bans federal or state recognition of gay marriage "or the legal incidents thereof". Meaning, of course, civil unions.

I understand the politics of this. By supporting the FMA, Bush shows the conservative Christian wing of the party that he is strong on moral issues, while at the same time saying that he supports state civil unions to appeal to the million gay votes he got in 2000. All the while hoping that no one looks too closely at the text of the FMA.

I think Bush knows he's safe doing this because there's no way the FMA will ever pass.

Red Dog 10-26-04 04:57 PM

Also, folks, look at what he specifically said here....


"I don't think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that's what a state chooses to do so."

Note that he is NOT saying that he supports civil unions. He supports the states having the say over it. This position is 100% consistent with what he said earlier this year.

kvrdave 10-26-04 05:01 PM


Originally posted by dick_grayson
This doesn't matter because Kerry is a flip-flopper, right?
He was before he wasn't, anyway.

Tracer Bullet 10-26-04 05:01 PM


Originally posted by Red Dog
Also, folks, look at what he specifically said here....




Note that he is NOT saying that he supports civil unions. He supports the states having the say over it. This position is 100% consistent with what he said earlier this year.

But then it says: "According to an ABC transcript, Mr. Gibson then noted to Mr. Bush that the Republican Party platform opposed civil unions.

"Well, I don't," Mr. Bush replied."

In all honesty, I believe that Bush does support civil unions, but that he feels safe saying that because he's never going to be called to task for it. The FMA is never going to pass, and he's never going to be in a position to have to sign or veto a state civil union bill.

Red Dog 10-26-04 05:03 PM


Originally posted by TracerBullet
The FMA bans federal or state recognition of gay marriage "or the legal incidents thereof". Meaning, of course, civil unions.


No it doesn't. Read the text:


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.
This is a directive to the courts (state and federal) that they cannot confer such rights upon gay partners. The state legislatures are still free to do so.

Venusian 10-26-04 05:05 PM

so basically bush and kerry have the same position...except bush would put his as a const amend. and kerry wouldn't?

Red Dog 10-26-04 05:05 PM


Originally posted by TracerBullet
But then it says: "According to an ABC transcript, Mr. Gibson then noted to Mr. Bush that the Republican Party platform opposed civil unions.

"Well, I don't," Mr. Bush replied."


Yeah, but he didn't stop there:


He added: "I view the definition of marriage different from legal arrangements that enable people to have rights. And I strongly believe that marriage ought to be defined as between a union between a man and a woman. Now, having said that, states ought to be able to have the right to pass laws that enable people to be able to have rights like others."
IMO, he simply views civil unions as a state issue.

Tracer Bullet 10-26-04 05:05 PM


Originally posted by Red Dog
No it doesn't. Read the text:



This is a directive to the courts (state and federal) that they cannot confer such rights upon gay partners. The state legislatures are still free to do so.

But if a state passed a civil union bill with the FMA in place, such a law would be unconstitutional.

Th0r S1mpson 10-26-04 05:05 PM

Man, I thought this was a point I disagreed with Bush on. Guess not. Thanks for posting the old quotes, Red Dog.

Red Dog 10-26-04 05:07 PM


Originally posted by TracerBullet
But if a state passed a civil union bill with the FMA in place, such a law would be unconstitutional.

I certainly do not believe so. Why would it be unconstitutional?

Red Dog 10-26-04 05:09 PM


Originally posted by Venusian
so basically bush and kerry have the same position...except bush would put his as a const amend. and kerry wouldn't?

Yes and this is why I have said there is little difference in this area, particularly since the FMA will not make it off the Hill. Kerry believes DOMA to be sufficient to protect marriage. Bush does not.

classicman2 10-26-04 05:11 PM

Does Red Dog prevail in this argument?

Has Bush's position changed?

Tracer Bullet 10-26-04 05:11 PM


Originally posted by Red Dog
I certainly do not believe so. Why would it be unconstitutional?
Look at the wording of the FMA.


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, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups."
If a state passes a civil union law and its constitutionality is questioned, then neither the specific state's constitution nor the Constitution could be interpreted in such a way to allow the continuence of such a law.

Th0r S1mpson 10-26-04 05:13 PM


Originally posted by classicman2
Has Bush's position changed?
Not sure, but my perception of it has. I thought he was oposed to them as well, but there are a lot of reasons that could happen besides something that Bush actually said.

Red Dog 10-26-04 05:15 PM


Originally posted by TracerBullet

If a state passes a civil union law and its constitutionality is questioned, then neither the specific state's constitution nor the Constitution could be interpreted in such a way to allow the continuence of such a law.

On what grounds could its constitutionality be questioned? It says that the legal incidents are not required. If does not say that 'legal incidents are not permitted.' Clearly, this amendment gives control of the issue to state legislatures and takes control away from the courts.

Red Dog 10-26-04 05:16 PM


Originally posted by Thor Simpson
Not sure, but my perception of it has. I thought he was oposed to them as well, but there are a lot of reasons that could happen besides something that Bush actually said.

Why? :hscratch: This is the same thing he said before.

Tracer Bullet 10-26-04 05:24 PM


Originally posted by Red Dog
On what grounds could its constitutionality be questioned? It says that the legal incidents are not required. If does not say that 'legal incidents are not permitted.' Clearly, this amendment gives control of the issue to state legislatures and takes control away from the courts.
Right, but "construed to require" could be found to mean "permitted". The language of the FMA is unclear enough to make this a possibility, in my opinion.

Tracer Bullet 10-26-04 05:29 PM


Originally posted by Venusian
so basically bush and kerry have the same position...except bush would put his as a const amend. and kerry wouldn't?
Right, but at some point, without the FMA, civil unions or DOMA will be challenged in the courts, and I believe that, most likely, gay marriage will be ruled constitutional and laws that ban it unconstitutional. This is why I say that Bush's position is great, because it makes him look moderate and hardline at the same time. If Kerry supported the FMA I'd say the same thing.


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