WASHINGTON (BP)–The Washington Blade, a homosexual newspaper, reported July 14 that the Democratic National Committee has devised “a five-point plan” to combat ballot initiatives to protect traditional marriage in state constitutions, although a DNC spokesman quoted by the Blade would neither confirm nor deny the report to Baptist Press.
The Blade said DNC efforts were spurred by a July 6 ruling by New York’s highest court, which held that “the New York Constitution does not compel recognition of marriages between members of the same sex.”
Homosexual activists took the New York ruling as a sign to ratchet up efforts in states where voters could have a say on whether homosexual couples should be allowed to marry in their state, and now the Democratic National Committee is lending resources and guidance, according to the Blade.
Damien LaVera, a spokesman for the DNC, told Baptist Press the committee is against Republican efforts to use the “gay marriage” issue as a tool for gaining votes in the November elections.
“We recognize that individuals have differing views about marriage and about the best way to ensure equal rights and protections for all American families,” LaVera said. “We respect those differences. What we oppose and believe are inconsistent with American values are mean-spirited efforts to scapegoat any group of people for political gain.”
LaVera refused to confirm or deny the Blade’s report -– which was attributed to him — that the Democratic National Committee has devised a five-point plan for fighting ballot measures, but he spoke briefly to Baptist Press about some of the actions the committee is taking in regard to marriage amendments.
“We’re calling those efforts what they are, we’re working to strengthen our state parties, we’re consulting with advocates on the ground,” he told BP.
The Blade reported that as part of a five-point plan, the DNC is “labeling the anti-gay ballot measures ‘divisive’ ploys by the Republicans and others to deflect voter attention from other important issues, including the ‘[Bush] administration’s failed policies.’”
Also included in the plan, according to the Blade, is an effort to build up the Democratic Party by training “state party operatives in all 50 states on how to campaign against anti-gay ballot measures.”
Two more parts of the plan, the Blade said, are to work closely with a homosexual advocacy group to “‘develop strategy and talking points’ on the anti-gay ballot measure issue” and to work “cooperatively with campaign organizations fighting the ballot measures in each state.” The fifth element is to “‘empower and organize’” homosexual communities nationwide through the DNC’s homosexual outreach coordinator, the Blade reported.
All five actions, though attributed in the Blade article to LaVera, did not include direct quotes from the DNC spokesman.
The Blade further reported that the DNC assisted a homosexual group in Illinois with efforts to block a marriage amendment from going before voters in November. In May, Protect Marriage Illinois, a pro-family initiative, turned in more than 345,000 signatures in an effort to put a referendum on the November ballot calling on the General Assembly to constitutionally protect marriage from redefinition.
“As we move forward in this election year, we will help in a variety of ways,” the Blade quoted LaVera as saying.
According to the Blade, the DNC contributed $10,000 to the Illinois cause, but LaVera told the newspaper he would not confirm it because committee policy prohibits disclosure of contributions made in electoral efforts.
LaVera spoke mostly on background to Baptist Press except to say the DNC opposes “mean-spirited efforts” against “gay marriage” and to refute Baptist Press’ characterization of marriage amendment supporters as “pro-family.”
“Democrats believe that the best way to support families is by working to address our nation’s serious problems,” LaVera said. “Democrats are fighting for our nation’s families every day by pushing to make healthcare affordable for all Americans, by demanding that we raise the minimum wage, by working to create good jobs in America, by fighting for good public schools and by demanding accountability from elected leaders about the war in Iraq and about corruption in government. These are the real challenges facing America’s families, and they are the challenges we are working to meet.”