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02/03/2012

The Stand For Marriage Washington team: Whose more obvious animus will get cold shoulder?

by Jeremy Hooper

According to the Washington Conservative Coalition, this is the (highly GOP) assortment that's coming together to put marriage on the Evergreen State's ballot:

Screen Shot 2012-02-03 At 8.37.57 Am
[Stand For Marriage Washington]

What will be interesting to see is how many of these players get to stick around once an organized campaign effort comes in. Right now, the marriage equality bill hasn't even made its final passage through the state House, so there's no official campaign against it/for a referendum. But should there be, it's a certainty that some outside group like Schubert Flint Public Affairs will step in and take the reins of the thing. And when they do? The more extreme voices, no matter how engaged they've been in the past, have a way of being tucked away in a closet. This happens every time (See Mike Heath in Maine circa 2009; Randy Thomasson during Prop 8; Ron Baity in North Carolina this year; etc.).

In Washington state, my they'll-hide-'em-away money's on longtime voice of hostility Ken Hutcherson. While he's been the most prominent face of Washington's various anti-gay efforts, both in state and nationally, Hutcherson has proven a willingness to say and do whatever he damn well pleases, pragmatism be damned. For instance, there was that recent example where he compared his Governor to John Wilkes Booth. There have been accusations of gays supposedlytrying to turn Christians into "the new negro." Hutcherson's also committed the cardinal "pro-family" sin of turning on his own, vocally accusing conserva-giant Focus on The Family -- major player in state marriage efforts -- of going too soft. These are the kinds of things that don't play well when the bright lights of a campaign come around.

Then there's this whopper, where Hutcherson quite proudly vied with Matt Barber (and James Dobson, in absentia) for the title of "Number 1 Homophobe in America," which he then coupled with the lie that gays have a one million dollar campaign to destroy him personally and have only stopped short of killing him because it'd turn the pastor into a martyr:

And those are just a few examples. I could do a whole day of posts from just my Hutcherson archive.

So yeah, my money's on Hutch getting booted from a Washington island that, if this thing goes to ballot in a reliably blue state, will need to seem moderate, positive, and completely marriage-focused. Although I'll have to say, for the sake of our side and the ease of win, I sincerely hope they keep Ken around. Promote him, even.

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