updated 1/15/2005 7:18:37 PM ET 2005-01-16T00:18:37

Some legislators want Arkansas’ public school textbooks to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman — just like the recently approved amendment to the state Constitution.

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Republican state Rep. Roy Ragland sponsored the bill. It says if a school textbook attempts to define marriage, it must do so the same way the amendment overwhelmingly passed by voters Nov. 2 does.

“With the popularity and the mandate that I felt like the people of the state of Arkansas gave us ... I thought this was the right time to do this,” Ragland said Friday.

Twenty-two House members and 11 senators have co-sponsored the bill. Ragland said Republican state Sen. Ruth Whitaker would push the legislation in the Senate.

Ragland said he knows of no textbooks currently being used in Arkansas that would violate such a law.

Alan Saugey, president of Arkansans for Human Rights, which campaigned against the marriage amendment, said he had not read the bill and declined to comment.

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