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01/17/2014

Stop. Lying. About. Bipartisan. Support.

by Jeremy Hooper

Earlier this week, I showed you how Heritage Foundation's Ryan T. Anderson was claiming "bipartisan support" for the so-called State Marriage Defense Act, even though the bill had not one (D) co-sponsor. Today on Twitter, young Ryan tried to call me and other bloggers/journalists/activists out, now what the bill has one Democratic supporter (Mike McIntyre, a retiring conservative Dem from North Carolina). Only problem for Ryan? He was still dead wrong, as I proceeded to share in our subsequent exchange:

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Ryan was trying to say that because he had some sort of inside info that was not yet filed in the congressional record, he was right to say that the bill was bipartisan five days before there was even one (D) supporter. That is ludicrous. No, I didn't call ever congressional Democrats office to make sure they weren't sponsoring, but it wouldn't have mattered. On January 10th, none of them were supporting the bill.

Not to mention, one (D) does not "bipartisan" make (a point Gawker's Adam Weinstein made when Ryan confronted him). There are currently 433 folks in Congress (there are two current vacancies), with 200 of them being Dem. A lone, retiring supporter does not change the fact that Democrats, in a clear and united voice, oppose this bill.

Which brings me to NOM. Right smack dab on its shiny new website, NOM is running this claim about the newly regenerated Federal Marriage Amendment:

Screen Shot 2014-01-17 At 7.53.37 Pm

"Wide bipartisan support"? Um, try the bill has a whopping TWO Democratic cosponsors: Nick Rahall, a conservative from West Virginia, and the Mike McIntyre, the very same retiring Dem from north Carolina who is sponsoring the aforementioned State Marriage Defense Act. You can't even fairly call that bipartisan support. But to call it WIDE bipartisan support?!? That is simply a lie.

And it would be no different, were a Senate version of the go-nowhere bill to materialize. As you likely know, only one Democratic U.S. Senator, Arkansas' Mark Pryor, is actively against marriage equality (Sen. Manchin hasn't publicly stated either way; Sen. Landrieu is supportive personally but not as matter of policy). The rest of the Senate Dems—fifty of them, in all—plus three Republicans—Murkowski, Kirk, and Portman—are all on the record as being IN FAVOR of marriage equality. This means that a bill *supporting* marriage equality would earn more support than would a Federal Marriage Amendment. A lot more, in fact, since I could name at least four other Republicans who would vote against an FMA (as did Landrieu the last time around; Manchin and Pryor likely would as well).

Bottom line: these folks claiming "bipartisanship" are flat-out lying. GOP + an outlier or two, perhaps. But do not be fooled: Republican Ryan Anderson and Republican NOM are pushing a Republican idea. Fortunately, a growing contingent of Republicans are waking up an evolving—but virtually all of the political support base is still GOP!

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