Clinton Won't Fight for Gay `Marriage': Backs Bill to Make Ties Non-Binding

By Bedard, Paul; Blomquist, Brian | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 15, 1996 | Go to article overview

Clinton Won't Fight for Gay `Marriage': Backs Bill to Make Ties Non-Binding


Bedard, Paul, Blomquist, Brian, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


The White House yesterday signaled its support for an election-year proposal to allow states not to recognize other states' same-sex "marriages," reversing recent pledges to homosexuals to fight the issue.

President Clinton's "evaluation of the bill would be consistent with his personally stated view that he opposes same-sex `marriage,' " White House spokesman Michael McCurry said.

The administration's decision to back the bill, which describes marriage as a union between a man and woman, came a day before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the legislation.

"The president believes that marriage as an institution ought to be reserved for a union between one man and one woman," Mr. McCurry said.

The administration spent weeks debating an effort led by Marsha Scott, the president's liaison to homosexuals, to find a way to extend to homosexuals the legal and civil rights provided to married couples.

The Washington Times has reported that she told homosexuals the president refused to sign a campaign pledge last winter endorsing language like that in the bill. She said the president called the pledge "outrageous."

Mr. Clinton had dispatched Miss Scott to seek suggestions on how he could satisfy demands for limited administration approval of homosexual "marriage."

"Gay men and lesbians deserve equal rights under law. Where there is discrimination . . . that's wrong. Whether marriage is the vehicle to make those changes is something we are looking at," Miss Scott said in an interview.

The administration's shift on the issue comes as the White House is trying to shore up support among Catholics angered by the veto of a ban on partial-birth abortion despite his "personal" opposition to the procedure. …

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