Religious right not united in push to repeal benefits for gay couples
Posted on May 5, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
Religious conservatives across the state are divided over a new campaign to repeal legislation extending all the benefits of marriage — except the name — to gay and lesbian couples.
Conservative faith leaders on Monday followed through on an earlier pledge, filing a referendum to overturn Senate Bill 5688, which extends to same-sex couples all the state-given benefits of marriage previously reserved for opposite-sex couples.
But some prominent religious conservatives are not on board with the campaign, saying the timing is all wrong, given the state of the economy.
The referendum’s backers — a network of Catholic, Protestant and Mormon organizations with some 100,000 constituents — can’t begin gathering the 120,500 signatures necessary to qualify the measure for the November ballot until the governor has signed the bill into law. That should happen within two weeks.
Gary Randall, executive director of the Faith and Freedom Network, which is leading the coalition of bill opponents, said he feels they have a good shot at getting their numbers.
“There’s a broad coalition of organizations involved with us,” Randall said. “We’re not assuming everyone will be on board, but conservatively there are 100,000 people involved in those organizations. So, based on that, I think the chances are pretty good.”
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