GOP Drives More Gay Advocates From Party

Sun. May 30, 2004 12:00 AM by

Washington, D.C. - As the Republican Party continues its move to the far right the number of gays and their supporters who are leaving the party grows.

In Washington, D.C., Friday, Councilman David Catania quit the party after he was told he could not longer be a delegate at the national convention. Party chair Betsy Werronen says Catania lost the seat because he opposes President Bush's call for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

The openly gay Catania has publicly voiced his opposition to the proposed amendment.

Within hours of Catania's withdrawal from the party, the only other Republican on the 13-member District council resigned as a delegate to the convention in protest of Catania's dismissal.

In the state of Washington Republicans will be asked to endorse a new platform which includes a statement of support for President Bush's proposal to ban gay marriage.

As the Washington State Republican Party began its 2004 convention Friday, party chair Chris Vance said the platform reflects majority public opinion.

Convention-goers will vote on final approval of the platform on Saturday.

Earlier this week in Arizona, veteran state senator Carolyn Allen (R-Scottsdale) quit her post in the GOP leadership after Senate President Ken Bennett forced a vote on a bill supporting the federal ban on gay marriage. The roll call vote will help religious groups target the measure's foes in November.

Allen accused Bennett of trying to embarrass lawmakers who do not believe the federal constitution should be amended to define marriage as solely between one man and one woman.

Bennett admitted even before the 14-12 vote the measure did not have the backing of 16 senators necessary for approval. But he said Sen. Mark Anderson, R-Mesa, wanted a roll-call vote; Anderson, in turn, said groups which oppose gay marriage like the Catholic Church and the Center for Arizona Policy want lawmakers on record on this issue.

Earlier this month, North Carolina GOP told the Log Cabin Republicans the group could not participate in the state convention because the gay group opposed the federal amendment.

©® 2004

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