The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
February 18, 2004

President Bush Discusses Mass/San Francisco Marriage Issues

Excerpt from February 18, 2004 Remarks with Tunisian President

PRESIDENT BUSH: A couple of questions. Scott.

Q Thanks, Mr. President. More than 3,000 same-sex couples have taken vows since San Francisco started issuing marriage licenses to gays and lesbians. This Massachusetts court ruling could result in the first legally recognized gay marriages in May. Do these developments make you any more inclined to endorse a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage?

PRESIDENT BUSH: I strongly believe that marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman. I am troubled by activist judges who are defining marriage. I have watched carefully what's happened in San Francisco, where licenses were being issued even though the law states otherwise. I have consistently stated that if -- I'll support law to protect marriage between a man and a woman. And obviously these events are influencing my decision.

Q Are you close to a decision?

PRESIDENT BUSH: I'm watching very carefully. But I'm troubled by what I've seen. People need to be involved with this decision. Marriage ought to be defined by the people, not by the courts. And I'm watching it carefully.

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