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NY-9: Marriage factor is small, contrived, almost exclusively faith-based; highly motivated

by Jeremy Hooper

My take: If marriage is factoring into the Turner/Weprin race in NY's 9th Congressional District, it's only registering because of hyper-motivated witness-leaders and their willing supporters. Meaning: Certain, almost Screen Shot 2011-09-13 At 1.46.52 Pm-1exclusively faith-motivated groups are telling their communities that a vote for David Weprin, someone who understands the difference between civil marriage and personal religious belief, is a vote against God and faith (and "our torah"; see left). Influential community leaders -- preachers, rabbis, Rubén Díaz -- have stepped in to make this a one issue race, telling the folks who hold these figures in high esteem that this vote will be some sort of fruitless "vindication" for New York's marriage equality law and will someone make New York more "moral" by tomorrow. Without this outside influence (some of it from a man who has blamed gays for both earthquakes and hurricane deaths), New Yorkers in the district, left to their own organic devices and viewpoints, would be going to the votes and weighing in on matters that truly affect our troubled nation. But no, instead we are seeing yet another radical hijacking of what should be a pertinent discussion, with some self-appointed "morality" leaders turning our politics into a personal war against certain people's lives and loves.

The group that has stirred up all of this animus to the tune of $75,000, religious mailers, and recruitment of that aforementioned "gays cause earthquakes/hurricanes" rabbi? The National Organization For Marriage, natch.

The groups that are determined to speak some sense on this? The Human Rights Campaign and Freedom to Marry, who have co-penned a memo on marriage, the race, and a state that supports basic fairness by a growing majority. Take a look:

6A00D8341C503453Ef0154349F168B970C-12 MEMORANDUM

To: Interested Parties

From: Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry

Re: NY-9 and marriage equality

Date: September 13, 2011

It’s not surprising that virulently anti-gay groups like the National Organization for Marriage are arguing that the freedom to marry has played some sort of noteworthy role in the Weprin-Turner race for New York’s Ninth Congressional District. Whoever wins tonight, marriage equality did not play an influential, even modest, role in the outcome of this special election. What people are focused on are jobs, jobs, and more jobs.

Here are some facts:
Memo: Today’s NY-9 Race and Marriage Equality [NOM Exposed]

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