Battle Lines Drawn in National Marriage Fight
As Pat Benatar famously suggested, love is indeed a battlefield. In Washington and Maryland, state legislators are poised to pass bills that would legalize same-sex marriage. Further efforts in New Jersey and Maine will likely see ballot measures presented to the public this November. But it takes two to tango and opponents of gay marriage are fighting back.
For every two steps forward, we always seem to take at least one step back. Those backward stumbles are taking the form of ballot measures in Minnesota and North Carolina. In both states voters will be considering constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriages this year. North Carolina already bars gay couples from marrying under state law.
The bully pulpit recently reported that the Washington state legislature has secured the necessary support to ensure passage of the landmark bill in that state. But anti-equality groups from inside and outside the state have began piling on in a desperate attempt to block the measure. Ken Hutcherson, an outspoken opponent of gay rights, recently testified before the state senate to proclaim that supporters of gay marriage are "narrow minded... and bigoted". While laughable to most, his vitriol has endeared him with the far-right and catapulted him to the position of spokesman for the Stand for Marriage Coalition.
Huterchson's outspoken opposition to equality over the years has allowed him to amass a treasure trove of public statements that clearly outline his ideology. "God hates soft men" he once declared, although I think he might of meant to say "God hates fags". Flanking the pastor is the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) which has committed $250,000 to fund primary challenges against Washington republicans who support marriage equality. NOM has also promised to get the law on the November ballot in hopes the people will overturn it.Continued on the next page