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Anti-gay marriage opponents rally the troops

BY NOREEN FAGAN – It had to happen, but so soon?

An article in The New York Times draws attention to the harsh reality that
gay-marriage opponents are far from giving up their fight.

Less than 24 hours after gay marriage was legalized in New York State, anti-gay marriage proponents started rallying the troops
and appealing for funds to continue their crusade against equality and human

The National Organization for Marriage announced it would
pledge $2 million to reverse the New York decision. On the group’s
website, president Brian Brown made a statement warning people of the
perils of gay marriage.

“Gay marriage has consequences for the next generation, for
parents, and for religious people, institutions and small business owners.” He
goes on to say, “Sadly, it’s the families of New York who will pay the worst
price of the new government-backed redefinition of marriage.”

What worst price — seeing how equality works?

The organization says it expects to raise $20 million this
year from Roman Catholic and evangelical Christian groups, as well as individual
donors. One of the group’s largest donors is the Knights of Columbus, the Roman
Catholic fraternal organization.


The mission to crush the prospect of gay marriage in US states
has been revitalized — the Summer for Marriage bus is being spruced up and
the battle is about to begin.

Voters in 29 states have adopted constitutional amendments
banning same-sex marriage and other states are gearing up to vote on
the issue.

So where are the next battle zones?

Minnesota: both sides are preparing for a vote in 2012 on a
constitutional amendment to outlaw same-sex marriage.

Maine: gay rights proponents announced they would start
gathering signatures to put same-sex marriage on the ballot next year. In 2009, the governor signed into law a bill allowing same-sex marriage, but
opponents pushed it to a referendum, and voters defeated it a few months later.

North Carolina: the legislature is  expected to consider this fall whether to put a
constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage before voters in November
2012. North Carolina is the only state in the southeast that has not already
adopted such an amendment, but now that its legislature is controlled by
Republicans, who knows what will happen.

New Hampshire: although it is one of the states that adopted
same-sex marriage, pressure is mounting for the legislature to reverse the
decision. That vote will come up in February 2012 — the same time as the US
presidential primaries.

Maryland: a push by opponents this spring derailed a
same-sex marriage law that had been widely expected to pass. But, spurred on by
New York gay rights, advocates plan to press for a vote to reverse that outcome
next year.

Despite the war cries of same-sex marriage opponents,
advocates are buoyed by the New York decision. Gay rights groups like the Human Rights Campaign say that time is on their
side and that a reversal in New York is improbable because as same-sex
marriages become more common, people will see that they are no threat.


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