DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ An Iowa county judge's ruling knocking down the state's same-sex marriage ban has Republican White House
hopefuls jostling to stake out a position with the state's conservative voters.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was the first to seize on the ruling, calling it an example of a judge "trying to redefine marriage and disregard the will of the people."
Arizona Senator John McCain says the ruling was "a loss for the
traditional family," while a spokesman for Rudy Giuliani says the former New York mayor "believes marriage is between a man and a woman." Giuliani has supported limited legal recognition for same-sex couples.
Republican Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas also expressed disappointment with the judge's ruling.
"We should have the courage and conviction to speak out against this decision. The people of Iowa reject the redefinition of marriage, and I pledge to defend the bond of marriage, as I have consistently done in the past," Brownback said in a statement. "This decision shows how important it is to elect leaders who will stand for marriage and who will appoint judges that will not legislate from the bench. We need to rebuild the family and renew the culture, not redefine marriage."
Democratic Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton was says she favors civil unions "with full equality of benefits." But says the question of same-sex marriage should be left up to the states.