Pam Spaulding

Anti-gay groups target marriage equality-supporting Blue State lawmakers

Filed By Pam Spaulding | October 08, 2007 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, Media
Tags: Focus on the Family

Last June, legislators in Massachusetts turned back an effort to place marriage equality on the ballot. This enraged fundie organizations around the country to no end. So much so that there is now an effort to target lawmakers who are in vulnerable districts.

One in the crosshairs of such an effort is Democratic state Rep. Angelo Puppolo (Springfield); he was one of the legislators who changed his position and voted "no" -- supporting the continuation of marriage equality in the Bay State.

An outfit with a flimsy web site called the National Organization for Marriage placed a billboard called "Betrayed" on Interstate 91 near the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield that compared Puppolo to Judas Iscariot and Benedict Arnold.


"Tactics like this reinforce my belief that I did the right thing," Puppolo said. "I voted to keep discrimination off the ballot and out of the Massachusetts constitution." Puppolo said the billboard is hateful and offensive.

...Puppolo, a Catholic who is married with two small children, said he attends Mass each week. "To bring Judas into the equation really shows how desperate this group is," he said.

Interestingly, the National Organization for Marriage isn't even based in Massachusetts -- it's operating out of Princeton, New Jersey, and its director is Brian S. Brown, former executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, one of the affiliates of Daddy Dobson's hate machine. He plans to target 10 other lawmakers who switched votes to oppose the proposed amendment.

Pupulo asked that the advertising firm be contacted:

"The billboard... is very large and placed strategically on I-91 Southbound. Lamar Advertising owns the board and took the order from an out of state group from New Jersey - Lamar's number is 860-246-6546 in case anyone should feel the desire to call and let Lamar know what you think of the distasteful billboard."

It's good to remind everyone that Daddy D's relationship with these state organizations is murky, but his fingerprints are all over the strategy of punishing lawmakers in the states deemed dangerous because they are heading rapidly toward marriage equality if not there already (Connecticut, Vermont, Massachussetts, California, New York and New Jersey).  It's clear that anti-gay money is going to get funneled to these state organizations to try to topple any elected officials in close districts that don't get "in line" with the fundie program.

BTW, there are 34 states with Focus on the Anus state policy councils, according to Frederick Clarkson: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

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Steve Ralls Steve Ralls | October 8, 2007 7:20 PM

The silver lining here is that the fundies' tactics are backfiring.

If the billboards are convincing those who supported marriage equality that they are doing the right thing, maybe something positive can come from this shameful campaign after all.

The real surprise, of course, is that someone on the right knew who Judas Iscariot and Benedict Arnold even were.

I think it's funny that the local FoF chapter here got all bent out of shape when Jesus Metropolitan Community Church ran billboards that asked "Would Jesus Discriminate?" and yet they have no compunction about running their own hateful misleading ads in the newspaper - or in this case, their own billboard.

Focus on the Anus. I'll have to use that from now on!