candid thoughts on the issues of the day.
Article from our St. Louis newspaper. Check out Brian Diehl's quote, it's pretty funny.

Gay marriage ban gets voter OK


By Matt Franck
Of the Post-Dispatch
08/03/2004

Missouri voters gave resounding approval to an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage, putting the nation on notice that similar proposed bans in other states could be difficult to defeat.

The Missouri Constitution will now state that ``to be valid and recognized in this state a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman.''

They're words that gay marriage opponents like Vicky Hartzler have wanted for years -- but particularly after judges in Massachusetts ruled to legalize same-sex unions.

``I think that Missouri values have spoken,'' said Hartzler, a spokeswoman for the Coalition to Protect Marriage in Missouri. ``This is a message of the heart, and here in the Heartland, we value marriage.''

Early returns showed the ban winning by a ratio of more than 2-to-1. Missouri's vote on the amendment has attracted nationwide interest from people on both sides of the issue. The state is the first to vote on the matter this election season, with seven set to follow suit by November.

State constitutions have become the battleground of the gay marriage debate, after an anti-gay marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution failed in the Senate last month.
Hartzler said Missouri -- which has a reputation as a bellwether state -- had sent a message with its vote.

The wide margin may be especially noteworthy given that the Democrats outnumbered the Republicans at the polls Tuesday, as a result of the hotly contested Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Opponents of the gay marriageban said they were discouraged by the results but proud of their campaign.

``We stepped up to the challenge and organized ourselves,'' said Doug Gray, who headed an anti-amendment campaign for the Constitution Defense League. ``We moved this debate forward.''

Opponents of the amendment had hoped that a blitz of television ads in the days before the primary would change public opinion.

The campaign was fueled by nearly $400,000 in donations, most of it gathered through house parties in St. Louis and Kansas City. Supporters of the gay marriage ban raised little for their cause -- less than $10,000 -- relying instead on dozens of church congregations to carry the message via newsletters and announcements from the pulpit.

But values appeared to beat dollars at the ballot box.The success of the gay marriage ban may have been tied to the failed amendment to approve a casino in Rockaway Beach.
There, too, voters rejected a well-funded advertising campaign. At the polls, many voters like St. Louis firefighter Steve Pappageorge said they turned out specifically to make a statement against both gay marriage and gambling.

``I guess I'm a little old-fashioned on that kind of thing,'' said Pappageorge., who voted for the gay marriage ban.

Amendment opponents like Gray said he believed Missourians would have defeated the ban if the advertising campaign had more time. The television spots emphasized that Missouri already had a law banning same-sex marriage. Some voters said they looked at the ballot and didn't see a need for the marriage ban.

``They have the right to be as miserable as the rest of us married people,'' said Brian Diehl, of Robertsville, who has been married 43 years and has five children. ``My wife's going to be unhappy with me saying that.''

Four other states -- Alaska, Hawaii, Nebraska and Nevada -- have passed constitutional bans on same-sex marriage.

Now that voters have added such a ban to Missouri's Constitution, leaders from national gay rights organizations say they have their work cut out for them fighting similar ballot initiatives this fall.

``I think we'll definitely have an uphill battle,'' said Seth Kilbourn, national field coordinator for Human Rights Watch, which spent $60,000 attempting to defeat the Missouri amendment. ``But I do think we'll have more time in other states to educate voters and talk about what the amendments are really about.''

Florence Shinkle and Michelle Munz contributed to this report.

Reporter Matthew Franck
E-mail: mfranck@post-dispatch.com
Phone: 573-635-6178

Comments
on Aug 04, 2004
The final votes are now in. Looks like it won with over 70% of the vote. Pretty amazing. I expected it to be closer.
on Aug 04, 2004
"The wide margin may be especially noteworthy given that the Democrats outnumbered the Republicans at the polls Tuesday, as a result of the hotly contested Democratic gubernatorial primary. "


Quite telling, I think, considering that "homosexual bias" is considered a Republican scourge by the mass media. With more Democrats voting than republicans and the vote passing with 70%, it hardly seems to be a inherently conservative issue. Could it even be a religious issue with that many people voting? Hard to believe 70% of the people who voted were bible thumpers.

"``But I do think we'll have more time in other states to educate voters and talk about what the amendments are really about.''


Does that line aggrivate anyone else? I'm not sure that I need to be educated, and I think "what it is about" is pretty clear on a ballot, isn't it?
on Aug 04, 2004
``to be valid and recognized in this state a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman.''


Does that line aggrivate anyone else? I'm not sure that I need to be educated, and I think "what it is about" is pretty clear on a ballot, isn't it?


Indeed. Missouri state may need more schooling. It seems to be crystal clear to me that it's about banning gay marriage.
on Aug 04, 2004
Does that line aggrivate anyone else? I'm not sure that I need to be educated, and I think "what it is about" is pretty clear on a ballot, isn't it?


I think what he is talking about is the beliefs of most progressives that the purpose of the ammendment is not just about protecting marriage but about "gay bashing". There claim is backed up by the fact that there is already a law in Missouri (and federally) defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Thus, they feel this proposition is just sort of the "sand in the face" after already beating back the homosexual movement in the legislature.
Meta
Views
» 430
Comments
» 4
Category
Sponsored Links