President Bush has called for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages.
In a speech today (Tuesday), Mr. Bush urged Congress to swiftly pass such an amendment, saying marriage is an "enduring human institution" between a man and a woman.
Mr. Bush said the move is necessary because, in his words, "activist judges" are trying to redefine marriage.
But, the president says states should be free to make their own choices in defining legal arrangements other than marriage -- such as allowing civil unions -- which provide legal protection for gay couples.
Mr. Bush's conservative backers have been urging him to support a draft resolution banning same-sex marriages in the wake of recent developments in Massachusetts and San Francisco, California.
Democratic leaders quickly criticized Mr. Bush's announcement as a distraction in an election year.
Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.