- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 11, 2004

The Log Cabin Republicans began an ad campaign in Colorado yesterday opposing a proposed constitutional amendment to ban homosexual “marriage” and highlighting the efforts of two Republican lawmakers who crafted the amendment.

Rep. Marilyn Musgrave and Sen. Wayne Allard, both of Colorado, are leading the way to push their legislation through Congress.

“Senator Allard and Congresswoman Musgrave have chosen to divide the American family and divide the American people by pushing this discriminatory amendment,” said Patrick Guerriero, executive director of Log Cabins Republicans, a homosexual advocacy group.

The 30-second television ads, which cost $75,000, are part of an overall $1 million antiamendment campaign by the group. The ads use statements from then-vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney during a 2000 debate.

Mr. Cheney said the issue of legally recognizing same-sex relationships “is regulated by the states.”

“I think different states are likely to come to different conclusions, and that’s appropriate. I don’t think there should necessarily be a federal policy in this area.”

The ad then flashes, “We agree. Don’t amend the Constitution.”

In February, President Bush called for a constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage, and Mr. Cheney is in agreement.

Guy Short, chief of staff for Mrs. Musgrave, said the ads “misrepresent Mr. Cheney’s position” and won’t be effective.

“They could spend $75,000 or $75 million, and they’re not going to change the American people’s mind, and the fact is, Americans support marriage as between one man and one woman,” he said.

The group’s effort, however, highlights a division among Republicans over the constitutional amendment approach. Some Republicans don’t want to amend the Constitution, and homosexual advocacy groups have used this to try to gather more opposition to the amendment.

“As Republicans, it is our obligation to speak out when our party is headed in the wrong direction,” Mr. Guerriero said.

“We want Republicans in Colorado to know that the Republican Party has a choice. Be the party of Lincoln, Reagan, Schwarzenegger and Giuliani, or be the party of Bauer, Falwell, Robertson and Buchanan,” he said.

Chris Barron, political director of Log Cabin Republicans, said Republicans clearly are not united on the amendment, and his group is encouraged that more are saying so.

But Mr. Allard said his proposed amendment, which defines marriage as between a man and woman, is “very popular” and its opponents are “a very small minority.” He hadn’t heard of the new Colorado ads, but said the fact that opponents are spending so much energy trying to defeat the amendment proves its popularity.

Mr. Short pointed to a March poll by CBS and the New York Times, which found 59 percent of American adults favored a federal marriage amendment, while 35 opposed it. Republicans favored it 77 percent to 17 percent, while Democrats favored it 52 percent to 44 percent.

“Republicans are unified,” he said. “Democrats … are the ones having problems.”

Sen. John Cornyn, the Texas Republican who chairs the Judiciary Constitution subcommittee, said same-sex “marriage” has faded from the public radar screen lately, but will come “roaring” back to the forefront once Massachusetts begins issuing same-sex “marriage” licenses on May 17.

“You’re going to see a lot more concern,” he said.

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