WASHINGTON (BP)--The economy may be dominating the election season and Congress may be in the spotlight, but activists on both sides of the "gay marriage" debate are closely watching several key gubernatorial and state legislative races that could determine the future of marriage in the United States.
Statewide races in at least five states -- Minnesota, Maine, Rhode Island, Maryland and New York -- could decide whether marriage is redefined nationally to include homosexual couples. At the same time, two states, Iowa and New Hampshire, could see "gay marriage" laws repealed outright if everything falls the way of conservatives in November. None of the states have constitutional marriage amendments.
Conservative groups are watching state races with a close eye this year, particularly after watching legislatures in three states pass laws legalizing "gay marriage" in 2009. The races could go a long way toward giving federal courts an indication of the nation's mood on the issue, said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, which backs candidates who support traditional marriage.
"The courts read election returns," Brown told Baptist Press. "The Proposition 8 case is moving its way through the courts, and it's up to the people of this country to make absolutely clear, especially to the U.S. Supreme Court, that the people of this country aren't going to stand for unelected judges or out-of-control legislatures forcing same-sex marriage on this country."
Many of the homosexual groups' state victories in recent years were due to the advocacy and support of multi-millionaire Tim Gill, a homosexual man who made his money from his successful Quark software company. He retired in 2000 and announced he would use his money for homosexual advocacy. Much of that money has gone to support state-level candidates.
"I don't know that there's been a more important election [on the issue], because up until this point, Tim Gill and a number of extremely wealthy gay multi-millionaires have been putting millions of dollars into state elections, supporting candidates who want to redefine marriage, but those candidates never talked about the issue publicly," Brown said. "They have been dealing with what was essentially a stealth campaign.
"This election, for the first time we have been able to make marriage an issue and win. No longer will Tim Gill and the rest have a free pass. Winning in the key places we're involved ... Read More