- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Homosexual “marriage” has become a defining issue for Democrats. The party is pushing hard for this policy to bring out their base and get behind an otherwise weak re-election bid from President Obama.

Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank told the Washington Blade that the 15 members of the Democratic platform committee voted unanimously on Sunday to adopt pro-homosexual language for the national convention in Charlotte in September. Mr. Obama announced he had taken this position in May, and the party is following his lead.

A new Pew Research poll released on Tuesday showed the number of Democrats favoring laws allowing homosexuals to get hitched jumped from 50 percent to 65 percent since 2008, while opposition dropped from 42 percent to 29 percent.

This movement has nothing to do with tolerance. Big-city liberal mayors are using their power to block new Chick-fil-A restaurants from opening in their towns purely because the private company’s CEO, Dan Cathy, expressed his personal belief in the importance of traditional marriage.

Washington’s Vincent Gray joined the mayors of Boston, San Francisco and Chicago when he tweeted Friday that his “strong support for LGBT rights & marriage equality” means he would not support “hate chicken.” When challenged on why Mr. Cathy’s First Amendment right to free speech is considered bigotry, the mayor replied, “This is about more than their CEO’s personal opinions. They also give hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-gay groups.”

The CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, responded to the Chick-fil-A controversy on Friday by giving $2.5 million to groups pushing for homosexual “marriage” laws in Washington state, yet his mail-order firm isn’t facing boycotts from red states. No one is trying to keep Microsoft software out of town because Bill Gates gave $100,000 to homosexual-rights groups. Nor is any city stopping Starbucks from multiplying on every corner even though the corporation itself says it supports same-sex marriage.

Conservatives are making a positive case for traditional values. Mike Huckabee, the Fox News host and former Arkansas governor, organized a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” on Wednesday to take a “stand for businesses to be free of economic bullying and hate speech.” Over a half-million people have confirmed on Facebook that they will go to one of the 1,600 locations to support the right to free speech.

Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice presidential candidate and governor of Alaska, posted a picture of herself and her husband Todd holding white paper bags on her Facebook page on Friday with the note, “Stopped by Chick-fil-A in The Woodlands to support a great business.” Former Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum tweeted last week, “With two of my boys, Enjoying chick-in-strips and an awesome peach shake at Chick-fil-A. See you here next Wednesday!”

For its part, the restaurant released a statement on Friday to try to get out of the frying pan and the fire, saying, “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

With homosexual “marriage” initiatives on the ballot in four states in November, turnout will be critical for the base of both political parties. The liberal outburst over Mr. Cathy’s espousal of traditional families only helps drive conservatives to the ballot box. Democrats should worry about alienating middle America.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.