Dobson & FOF Back Anti-Gay Effort In Wisconsin genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Uncivil Unions

Opposing anti-gay measures

James Dobson and his organization, Focus on the Family, are getting behind an amendment in Wisconsin that would ban same-sex marriage. The organization has been a vocal supporter of such measures...leading a similar effort in Colorado. The latest efforts are reported at 365Gay.com.

(Madison, Wisconsin) With polls showing that Wisconsin could become the first state in the nation where voters reject a proposed amendment banning same-sex marriage Focus on the Family, one of the country's most anti-gay organizations, has entered that battleground.

The Colorado Springs-based FOF has filed papers with the state Elections Board last week to create a referendum committee. The filing will allow it to use the millions of dollars it collects nationally in the fight in Wisconsin.

FOF, founded by conservative James Dobson, also has been at the forefront of same-sex marriage bans in other states. In Colorado, where a proposed amendment also is on the ballot this November, the group has given half a million dollars to groups promoting the amendment - $500,000 of that - $250,000 directly from FOF and another $250,000 through its lobbying arm Focus on the Family Action.

Fair Wisconsin, which is leading the fight against the amendment, said it is not surprised that national groups like FOF are targeting the state. A public poll taken in July showed that voters were about equally divided on the amendment with 49 percent supporting it and 48 percent opposed.

Measures like the ones in Wisconsin and Colorado have assisted the GOP in boosting the turnout of conservative evangelical voters...a situation they hope will once again help them hold control of the House and the Senate. Amendments defining marriage as between a man and a woman are believed to have been an important factor in the 2004 election results. I would expect to see the President and other high level Republicans invoke the issue as we approach the November election.

Last week seventeen former presidents of the Wisconsin Bar Association on Wednesday announced their opposition.

"Our founding fathers drafted our Constitution to embrace rights and freedoms which were to stand firm through all time and through all political changes. Wisconsin’s Constitution, like the United States Constitution, is a document which grants rights to citizens. It is not, has not been, and should not be used as a political means to restrict the rights of any citizens," the lawyers said.

Despite the fact that constitutional amendments have rarely been used to deny rights to citizens, the benefit the GOP receives from such bills has nonetheless made them a favorite tool. Whether the issue can turn the tide of negative sentiment directed at the Republican dominated government in the midterm election has yet to be seen. If it doesn't prove to be successful, 2006 could be pivotal in limiting the future appeal of such divisive measures.

Daniel DiRito | September 11, 2006 | 4:06 PM
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