Most U.S. Senate Candidates Oppose Gay Marriage, Divided on Amendment

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Most of the crowded field of U.S. Senate candidates say they don't support legalizing gay marriages, but they're divided along party lines on a federal constitutional push to ban the practice.

Those vying to become Illinois' next senator also acknowledge that gay marriage has galvanized voter attention nationwide. They say they are more focused on issues such as jobs and health care that resound deeper with the public.

President Bush proposed a constitutional ban on gay marriages Tuesday to preserve the institution of marriage in society.

Many Republicans support the Bush proposal and also oppose civil unions that provide gays with financial and health benefits, but most Democrats say each state should decide the issue and they support civil unions.