Gay marriage ban proponents tweak amendment

March 22, 2004 at 5:57 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 22 (UPI) -- GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill have tweaked their proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in an effort to ensure civil unions can be enacted.

Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., and Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo., announced the changes during a Monday news conference.

The amendment defines marriage as a "union of a man and a woman," but more explicitly gives state legislatures and not judges the ability to implement civil unions between same-sex couples.

While conservatives continue to push the issue, with hearings being held on Capitol Hill, observers say it's unlikely either the House or Senate will vote on such a controversial measure this election year.

During the news conference Allard said the move was needed to make the proposal less ambiguous. He also said he believes homosexuals are entitled to the same benefits and privileges as any other American, just not more benefits and privileges.

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