President Bush’s half-hour-long speech in Des Moines on Thursday focused on the war in Iraq and tax policy, but Bush did spent about a minute addressing a controversial court ruling in New Jersey. That state’s top court ruled this week that gay couples are entitled to all the legal benefits of married couples.
Bush told the crowd in Des Moines that traditional marriage is a “fundamental institution” of civilization. “We had another activist court issue a ruling that raises doubts about the instittuion of marriage. I believe that marriage is a union between a man and a woman,” Bush said.
Bush in the past has said he believes states have the authory to enact laws creating so-called “civil unions” which extend some legal rights to gay couples, but Bush supports passage of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution which would declare the only legal marriages in America are those between a man and a woman. “I believe it’s a sacred institution that is critical to the health of our society and the well-being of families and it must be defended,” Bush said. The crowd applauded, and then Bush moved on to another topic.
Bush was in Iowa to campaign for Republican congressional candidate Jeff Lamberti, who is running against Democratic Congressman Leonard Boswell.