Mixed Reaction To Gay Marriage Controversy

President Bush says marriage should be defined as the union between a man and a woman. He says government lawyers are working on a law to accomplish that definition.

The President's comments at a Rose Garden news conference Wednesday are part of a growing national debate about gay marriage.

A constitutional ban on gay marriages has already been introduced in the US House of Representatives.

The Mississippi based American Family Association is also busy lobbying for such an amendment.

The President's marriage remarks come just a week after the Gulfport City Council voted on another gay rights controversy. The council voted to condemn a Supreme Court decision that overturned a law in Texas which called sodomy a crime.

Like that issue, the debate over gay marriage is attracting some deeply divided opinions.

The President's remarks will no doubt draw strong support in conservative South Mississippi. But not from everyone.

"I'm gay. I'm 65. I'm educated. And I went through living hell as a child to get past this sexuality issue. I'm just as normal as anybody else. And I have a right to get married just as anybody else," said Nathan Adams, as he reacted to the President's remarks.

He says a federal law is not needed for this issue.

"If you want to go to your own house and your own bedroom and have sex with a man, that's your choice and that's your right. Why can't they get married?," he wonders.

Nancy Powersmith shares similar views. As for the President's remarks, she's somewhat surprised and disappointed.

"I feel they're very offensive to me as an American. As a citizen with rights under the constitution under the first amendment. Freedom of speech and freedom of religion. As a gay person, I think he's just rather ridiculous," she said.

The Tupelo based American Family Association is pushing for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. American Family Radio highlighted the issue Tuesday.

"I would be tickled to get a federal marriage amendment passed to state firmly that in our country, marriage is between one man and one woman," said one of the AFA commentators.

Billy Hewes agrees with that definition of marriage and supports the President. The Gulfport council member successfully introduced the controversial resolution which condemned the Supreme Court for upholding the overturning of the Texas sodomy law.

"I think homosexuality violates the will and the laws of God. And to me the laws of God are paramount to any laws of man, or any feelings that man has. So we need to do what's right in the eyes of the Lord," said Hewes.

A Jackson based gay rights group is calling for a nationwide boycott of Gulfport in response to the city council's action.  "Equality Mississippi" has also cancelled its statewide conference, which had been scheduled for Gulfport.