Although President Bush’s recent support of an amendment
banning gay marriage has received strong criticism recently on
campus, Young Americans for Freedom Co-chair Robert Raham said he
whole-heartedly agrees with Bush’s opposition to gay
marriage.

Bush has shown outstanding leadership in his actions towards the
gay marriage issue, said Raham, an LSA sophomore.

Bush said in a speech last Tuesday that in order to preserve the
definition of marriage as between a woman and a man — so
defined in 1996 by the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) passed by
President Clinton — a constitutional amendment should be
implemented.

“I do agree that the constitutional amendment is the way
to go,” Raham said. “Marriage should be reserved for a
man and a women — that is what Bush is trying to protect and
that is what I support.”

Raham also said although the proposal will appeal to religious
Republicans, he does not believe Bush is using the proposal merely
as a campaign device. The proposal has emerged out of recent events
such as the issuing of same-sex marriage licenses in California
violating the state’s constitution, he added.

On Friday, the California Supreme Court declined requests to
halt gay marriage licensing immediately.

Student leaders from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
community have said the courts throughout history have overturned
discriminatory practices. They said they hope the judicial branch
will uphold the rights of gay people.

But YAF member Jeston La Croix said he feels the amendment is
the only option to prevent cities like San Francisco from violating
their own laws.

“I would rather not have it be necessary. … I support
the amendment but I’d rather we didn’t have it,”
said La Croix, an LSA sophomore.

La Croix said he thinks gay marriage should remain a state issue
rather than as a national constitutional amendment.

La Croix added that the reasons he is opposed to gay marriage
are not related to religion.

“I don’t feel it’s acceptable to put marriage
to the same status as (gay marriage)” he said.

Also on Friday, the Social Security Administration decided not
to accept any marriage licenses from San Francisco until the issue
is resolved.

In recent years, states, given the right to deny standard
marriage benefits to gay couples by DOMA have created their own
laws opposing same-sex marriage. If Ohio enacts its pending Defense
of Marriage act, it will be the 38th state — including
Michigan — to have such laws in opposition to gay
marriage.

Tekla Bude, College Republican member-at-large, said that while
gay marriage conflicts with her religious views, she thinks the
government should recognize marriage in terms of civil unions and
benefits.

LSA freshman Rachel Nagrant said she thinks the proposal is
political.

“I think the (issue) is too controversial. Bush is trying
to keep his conservative supporters with him. I think this was
probably a good move because he already has an advantage and by
taking a strong political stance he’s keeping his former
supporters,” Nagrant said.

Kinesiology sophomore Steve Sargol, disagreed with this notion,
saying he does not believe Bush is using the proposal as a campaign
hoist.

“I don’t think this (proposal) could do anything but
hurt his campaign, because I think there would be more people
against it and to take such a strong stance on such a sensitive
issue could really hurt him,” Sargol said.

Sargol added that he thinks since a marriage is like a contract,
the government should have a say in it.

Public opinion suggests the majority of Americans oppose gay
marriage; a CNN/USA Today Gallup Poll conducted on Feb.16-17 showed
64 percent believe gay marriages should not be recognized by
law.

However, in an ABC News/Washington Post poll, only 45 percent
said they would support an amendment making gay marriages illegal
in the U.S.

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