Skip to comments.Michigan Dems urged not to oppose marriage amendment
Posted on 08/06/2004 10:31:57 PM PDT by AFA-Michigan
Missouri Democrats' vote a "warning shot," family group says
LANSING, Mi. -- Michigan's Democratic Party will risk alienating its own base and losing traditionally Democratic voters to Republicans if it actively campaigns against a constitutional amendment that would reaffirm state law defining marriage as only between a man and a woman and protect the law from court challenge, a statewide traditional values group said Friday.
The amendment is expected to appear on the November general election ballot after nearly half a million registered voters signed a petition demanding an opportunity to vote on the issue.
Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, in a memorandum Friday addressed to state Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer, said the 71 percent vote Tuesday by Missouri's predominantly Democratic electorate in favor of a marriage amendment "should serve as a warning shot to Michigan Democratic Party officials that you risk alienating your own base, and losing votes to President George W. Bush and other Republicans, if you embrace or assist homosexual activists' upcoming campaign against constitutionally protecting one-man, one-woman marriage."
"The evidence is overwhelming from public opinion polls here in Michigan -- and Missouri Democrats provided the latest confirmation -- that you should expect at least half of Michigan's Democratic voters in November to vote 'yes' in support of the Marriage Protection Amendment," Glenn wrote. "On behalf of hundreds of thousands of African-American and union households and other Democrats who feel so strongly about preserving one-man, one-woman marriage for their children and grandchildren, we urge Michigan Democratic Party officials not to endorse or spend party resources supporting the negative campaign of special interest groups whose views are diametrically opposed to those of so many Democrats on this issue."
"We hope that the Michigan Democratic Party will maintain, at worst, a position of neutrality on the upcoming ballot campaign," Glenn wrote. "Of course, the party's endorsement, consistent with strong support for the Marriage Protection Amendment among core constituencies of the Democratic Party -- particularly African-American and union households -- would certainly be welcome."
Glenn cited several indicators he said should make Democratic officials think twice before aligning themselves with the upcoming "no" campaign against the Marriage Protection Amendment:
* In Missouri's primary election Tuesday, during which the marriage amendment won 71 percent of the vote, Democrats outnumbered Republicans by nearly a quarter of a million votes, accounting for roughly 60 percent of those voting. http://www.sos.mo.gov/enrweb/allresults.asp?eid=116
There were 846,090 votes cast in the hotly-contested Democratic gubernatorial primary, while only 604,134 votes were cast in the not seriously contested Republican primary.
Glenn noted that even if all 437,563 "no" votes on the marriage amendment were cast by Democratic primary voters, a highly unlikely prospect, that means an absolute minimum of 408,527 Democrats -- or 48 percent of the total Democratic vote Tuesday in Missouri -- voted in favor of the marriage amendment.
* The marriage amendment was by far the biggest draw on Missouri's primary ballot, bringing voters to the polls solely to vote on that issue alone. The amendment passed by a vote of 1,054,591 to 437,998, a total of 1,492,589 votes cast. By comparison, the combined gubernatorial primaries drew only 1,454,576 votes, nearly 40,000 fewer votes than those cast on the marriage issue.
"That means nearly 40,000 Missouri voters turned out Tuesday specifically to vote for or against the Marriage Protection Amendment, then didn't vote on anything else," Glenn wrote. "Clearly, this is a highly unusual issue in which public interest in protecting and preserving one-man, one-woman marriage exceeds public interest in politics as usual."
He noted a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article Thursday, which reported: "Supporters of (marriage) amendments in other states pointed to Missouri's record election turnout -- 41 percent for a primary that in most years draws between 15 percent and 25 percent -- as a clear sign that the issue will lure voters to the polls in November." http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_np=0&u_pg=1673&u_sid=1167353
* The Democratic presidential ticket -- which history indicates must win Michigan in order to win the White House -- "has already done the math, the same math we ask you to do before aligning yourself with special interest groups that oppose Michigan's Marriage Protection Amendment," Glenn wrote Democratic officials, noting that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Thursday reported Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards as "saying the Democratic presidential ticket had no objection to Missouri's overwhelming vote this week in favor of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage." http://www.montereyherald.com/mld/montereyherald/news/politics/9330078.htm
* Voters' 71 percent approval Tuesday of a Marriage Protection Amendment made Missouri the fifth state since 1998 in which comparable super-majorities have voted to amend their states' constitutions to reaffirm that marriage shall remain only between one man and one woman. The four previous states were: Alaska in 1998, with 68 percent voting in favor; Hawaii also in 1998, with 69 percent voting in favor; Nebraska in 2000, with 70 percent in favor; and Nevada, which requires two ballot votes, with 69 percent in favor in 2000 and 67 percent in 2002.
"Families in Michigan -- including, overwhelmingly, traditionally Democratic African-American and union households -- care just as passionately as voters in other states about protecting and preserving one-man, one-woman marriage for their children and grandchildren," Glenn wrote. "The Michigan Democratic Party will get on the wrong side of this issue -- which unites people of all parties and races and economic standing in support of traditional marriage -- at its own political peril."
* The predominantly Democratic electorate's 71 percent vote in favor of Missouri's marriage amendment came despite $450,000 in campaign spending against the amendment by homosexual activist groups, editorial opposition from all of the state's major newspapers, and public opposition by Democratic legislators and the big-city mayors of both Kansas City and St. Louis. Amendment supporters raised a paltry $20,000 by comparison, mostly by selling pro-amendment yardsigns to churches for $3 apiece.
* Academic and media commentators agree that taking a hardline stand against constitutional protection for one-man, one-woman marriage could hurt Democratic candidates in November.
Glenn cited a Thursday article by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which reported:
"As Missouri demonstrated, the question could draw more voters to the polls. Given strong majority sentiment nationwide against gay marriage, the additional voters are more likely to be opponents of gay marriage and supporters of President Bush, who has endorsed amending the U.S. Constitution to ban gay marriage.
"At the same time, a heated debate over gay marriage could strain the Democratic base.
"'The marriage issue cuts across the Democratic coalition,' said John Green, a political scientist at the University of Akron in Ohio. 'Working-class Democrats, rural Democrats, African-Americans and Hispanics tend to have conservative views on marriage. To the extent this issue becomes front and center, it could pull the coalition in different directions.'" http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_np=0&u_pg=1673&u_sid=1167353
Glenn also cited a story -- headlined "Gay Marriage Issue Could Tip Some Black Votes to Bush" -- published Tuesday by Newhouse News Service, a national news syndicate that provides new and commentary to at least eight daily newspapers in Michigan. The story reported:
"The Republican president finds himself in the unlikely position of winning more black votes because African-Americans oppose same-sex marriage proportionally more than most Americans.
"...the national Church of God in Christ -- the largest black Pentecostal denomination in the country...like many black churches across America, (is) weighing their opposition to same-sex marriage against other social issues that typically lead to Democratic votes. The congregation, black clergy and national pollsters said they would be surprised if Kerry gets as many votes as Al Gore did against Bush four years ago...any bump could be important in so-called swing states like...Michigan.
"...Solid opposition to same-sex marriage is a reality at many black churches that decades ago helped form the backbone of the civil rights movement, which, along with social welfare issues, has prompted most African-Americans to vote Democratic for generations. ...In a Gallup Poll from May, 72 percent of black Americans surveyed said they opposed granting the same legal recognition for same-sex marriages as for traditional marriages." http://www.newhousenews.com/archive/diamant080304.html
* Glenn pointed locally to two news conferences in which prominent African-American pastors in Michigan -- including Bishop Keith Butler, Southfield, former member of the Detroit City Council, and the Rev. Edgar Vann, pastor of Detroit's 2nd Ebenezer Baptist Church, a recent past president of the influential Detroit Baptist Pastors Council -- have publicly endorsed a Marriage Protection Amendment for both the federal and state constitutions.
News Conference on federal Marriage Protection Amendment: http://www.woficc.com/pr/20040624.php
News Conference on state Marriage Protection Amendment: http://www.straightgate.net/marriage_statement10-2003.html
* Glenn also cited a public opinion poll in Michigan by Public Opinion Strategies, results of which were distributed to members of the state House of Representatives, which found that 41 percent of Michigan Democrats would "definitely support" amending the state constitution to reaffirm that marriage and its benefits shall apply only to a union of one man and one woman.
Another five percent of Michigan Democrats said they would probably support the amendment, for a total of 46 percent in favor. Conversely, 45 percent of Michigan Democrats said they would oppose the amendment.
The poll found that African-Americans in Michigan are among the strongest supporters of the Marriage Protection Amendment, with 76 percent saying they will definitely vote for it, compared to 61 percent of all whites.
"Surely Democratic Party officials in Lansing will not risk alienating half of all Michigan Democrats, including three out of four African-Americans, by opposing efforts to constitutionally protect one-man, one-woman marriage," Glenn wrote in his memo to Democratic party headquarters.
The poll also found that 83 percent of Republican voters in the state plan to support the marriage amendment.
* Glenn noted that in March, five Democratic members of the state House of Representatives voted in favor of the amendment. Rep. Triette Reeves, D-Detroit, chaplain of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus, who was absent the day of that vote for a family member's funeral, had earlier appeared at a news conference and spoken in several African-American churches in support of the amendment.
Also, a total of 19 Democratic county commissioners in Genesee, Jackson, Lapeer, and Macomb counties voted in favor of resolutions supporting the definition of marriage as only between one man and one woman and urging that Michigan voters be allowed to vote on the issue.
* Glenn concluded by urging party officials to remain neutral in the upcoming ballot campaign, "recognizing that hundreds of thousands of traditionally Democratic households in Michigan will be voting 'yes' in favor of preserving traditional one-man, one-woman marriage."
He noted that last fall, during a joint television interview in Detroit with Michigan Democratic Party communications director Ken Coleman, Coleman said that's exactly what the party intended, to stay neutral.
"It's not a clear cut issue," Coleman said during a WWJ-TV Channel 62 public affairs talk show broadcast on Sept. 21st. "I think it's something people should have an opportunity to decide locally and then at a state level if there's legislation on the table."
Later, Coleman elaborated: "I don't think that our party particularly has a clear-cut definition on this. You have Democrats who are on different places on the ideological plane on this issue, there's no clear cut one."
* Glenn noted that the Michigan Republican State Convention in May adopted a resolution endorsing the state Marriage Protection Amendment by a vote of 1,259 to 40.
"We understand if the Democratic Party, because of its competing factions, doesn't join Michigan Republicans in endorsing state constitutional protection of one-man, one-woman marriage," Glenn concluded. "But it's clear from all evidence, confirmed this week by the largely Democratic electorate in Missouri's 71 percent approval of such an amendment, that Democratic party officials will oppose protecting marriage in Michigan at their own political peril."
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ANd we were told this was a losing divisive issue for Bush...
Even rats know when to abandon a doomed ship. Looks like even the Demoncrats can appreciate that simple principle.
"The poll found that African-Americans in Michigan are among the strongest supporters of the Marriage Protection Amendment, with 76 percent saying they will definitely vote for it,"
This is the greatest strategic victory I have ever seen by conservatives. The liberals are in full retreat... and that's if theyre smart! I Declare August 5th, V-M day(victory on marriage day)
Go ahead make my day!
"ANd we were told this was a losing divisive issue for Bush..."
Bush really needs to pick this up. It is a perfect opportunity to show that Kerry is out of touch with America. Kerry has voted against every attempt to protect traditional marriage(including DMA signed by clinton). This should be in a campaign ad.
Are you kidding??!! The Democrats can't be true to their own principles. This is all for political expediency. They believe that the marriage amendment is wrong, but they don't have the cahonies to speak what they believe. They hope to dupe the voters. With the media's help, the probably will.
Some of Bush's ads have "family values" mentioned. He could easily expand that, because the issue is in his pocket.
During the presidential debate, this would be a winning issue. Bush could mention Kerry's voting record - it's fair game.
"Some of Bush's ads have "family values" mentioned."
Why does he stay so vague? He could make a much bigger impact by flat out saying in a campaign ad: "John Kerry has voted against every attempt to protect traditional marriage(including DMA signed by former President clinton). John Kerry, out of touch with America"
Bush could let "non-coordinated" Rebpulican and conservative section 527 organizations run ads about Kerry's record on the issue. Let McCain condemn the ads.
This issue will bring voters to the polls that normally stay at home. They will be conservative voters, and they will probably vote mainly for Bush.
It is almost as if a "divine" humor is at work here. Wouldn't be something if the homosexual issue was instrumental in getting President Bush reelected?
Actually this isn't from a demo group. This is from a pro-family group.
The demo party is beholden to Hollywood and other radical leftists. They will oppose the amendment.
BTW - If I was President Bush, I would ask Kerry if he is going to nominate supreme court justices that will be like the fools sitting on the Mass. Supreme Court? I would hammer home that Kerry is from the state that has such tyrants sitting on the bench. Can we not expect more of the same in a Kerry administration?
That's the best way to do it. That's how the Dork Man keeps his hands clean of Soros, Moore, and all the other left wing bozos. Blame it on them.
It's the new Campaign Finance Reform rules. There's more dirty money flying around than ever before. Good move, McCain - NOT!
I don't know. Hopefully the local leaders understand. But considering how much like lemmings that the donks can act like, it appears to me that it is almost inevitable that the fence-sitting leadership is likely to put both feet in their collective mouths prior to the elections.
I think it will help Bush already. People love their kids, and those kids have to grow up in this country.
That's why it was on the primary ballot in Missouri not the general election ballot. I think it is quite strange that a a state constitutional amendment could be ratified in a primary election. Not all parties have primaries. Usually fewer people show up for primaries than for general elections.
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