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Marriage amendment changed
With changes to a proposed amendment to the constitution banning same-sex marriage, it's now more clear that state legislatures can recognize civil unions if it passes.

"This new language makes the intent of the legislation even clearer: to protect marriage in this country as the union between a man and a woman, and to reinforce the authority of state legislatures to determine benefits issues related to civil unions or domestic partnerships," Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) told reporters.

Here's the new text (with additions in red): "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, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups any union other than the union of a man and a woman."

White House spokesman Trent Duffy said that the revision "actually brings it closer to the president's principles." But politically conservative religious and profamily groups who are members of the Arlington Group are likely to balk at the changes. As Weblog writes, there's no word from member groups like the American Family Association and Focus on the Family. Leading the charge against the change, at least for now, seems to be Concerned Women for America.

Robert Knight, director of the CWA's Culture and Family Institute, complains in a press release that the amendment "still allows for the erosion of marriage by allowing states to create civil unions. Whether you call other relationships 'Quasi Marital Schemes' or 'Civil Unions,' when they're recognized in law no differently from marriage, all you've protected is ...

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March 2004

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