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Edwards, Clinton Chided for Exchange

"I think that we have undue fear of gay marriage," she said.

Edwards was scheduled to address a prominent gay rights group in San Francisco Saturday night. Earlier in the day, she said she would discuss a Sacramento man who died after his friends say he was attacked by people who mistakenly thought he was gay.

The death of Satendar Singh, 26, has galvanized Sacramento's gay community and others who see it as an outgrowth of anti-gay rhetoric coming from local evangelical Christian Slavic churches.

According to Singh's friends, the group that attacked him earlier this month as he was leaving a picnic at Lake Natomas were speaking Russian. Singh was punched once in the face and fell backward, hitting his head. He died July 5 after four days on life support.

Authorities are investigating Singh's death as a possible hate crime.

At a Sacramento news conference Saturday afternoon, Edwards said she rewrote the speech she planned to give in San Francisco when she learned of Singh's death.

As she campaigns for her husband's presidential campaign in California, Elizabeth Edwards has staked out an independent position on gay rights.

She appeared last month at a breakfast before San Francisco's gay pride parade, where she announced her support for gay marriage.

The next day, her husband, John Edwards, said her position surprised even him. The former North Carolina Senator opposes gay marriage but supports civil unions.

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Associated Press writer Michael Rubinkam in Reading, Pa., contributed to this report.


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