Freshly re-elected US president George Bush will push on with his attempt at a nationwide ban on gay marriage, campaign strategist Karl Rove told reporters this week.

If we want to have a hopeful and decent society, we ought to aim for the ideal. And the ideal is that marriage ought to be, and should be, a union of a man and woman, Rove told Fox News.

Rove said Bush’s commitment to the ban was a significant promise following his convincing win in the election.

Bush previously attempted to amend the US constitution in September, but was defeated in the House of Representatives by 49 votes. Despite winning the popular vote in the election, Bush still does not have enough votes in Congress to pass the amendment.

As part of the national election, however, 11 states voted on whether to amend their state constitutions to ban gay marriage. All 11 voted strongly in favour of the amendments, although a lawsuit was prepared this week challenging the result in Georgia.

The announcement by Rove prompted a defiant response from president Cheryl Jacques of US lobby group Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

These amendments protect no one but instead discriminate against millions of American families, Jacques said in an HRC statement.

Gay activists also denied this week the issue of gay marriage was a decisive factor in the Democrats’ loss.

An HRC analysis said despite exit polls which revealed 22 percent of voters felt moral values were of primary importance, 60 percent of voters supported some form of legal protection for same-sex couples.

Meantime, a lesbian couple in Ireland had a significant legal victory this week. A lesbian couple who had wed in Canada won the right to a full hearing to have their union recognised in Ireland, The Advocate reported.

Ann Louise Gilligan and Katherine Zappone were legally married in British Columbia in 2003 before moving to Dublin, where they are demanding the Irish tax agency file them as a married couple.

High Court justice Liam McKechnie said the pair had an arguable case for a hearing, which will occur next year.

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