Keyes Leaves Illinois Campaign For Weekend Of Gay Bashing In Washington
Mon. August 30, 2004 12:00 AM by 365gay.com
Keyes joined black ministers and anti-gay activists from across the U.S., in calling for a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
The rally was sponsored by the the Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education, a conservative African American group.
The Maryland conservative radio commentator who was parachuted into Illinois to run against Democrat wunderkind Barack Obama has a long history of anti-gay rhetoric.
He has spoken out against adding sexuality to human rights laws federally and in Maryland, he opposes same-sex marriage and has fought against including gays in hate crimes laws. Keyes has consistently maintained that gay rights cannot be compared to the struggle for equality faced by African Americans.
In a radio interview August 8, Keyes dismissed a question from a WBEZ reporter that sexuality might be biologically determined.
"We as human beings cannot assert that our sexual desires cannot be controlled," Keyes said. He said such a claim would "consign us to the real of instinctual animal nature-- and we are not there."
Keyes said he had made a commitment to attend the Washington rally before accepting the GOP nomination to run in Illinois.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune Keyes accused Obama of talking out of both sides of his mouth when it comes to same-sex marriage.
"He knows black people oppose gay marriage," and he speaks out against it in black communities, Keyes said. "But he takes out full-page ads in the gay newspapers putting 100 percent of his support behind the gay agenda."
Obama's campaign spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said the candidate has been clear and consistent about his position.
"Barack Obama is opposed to gay marriage but believes in civil unions as a policy, and secondly, our position on a Constitutional amendment is exactly the same position as Vice President Dick Cheney's in that it's unnecessary," Gibbs told the Tribune.
Polls show Keyes badly trailing Obama in a race that is expected to become nastier as the November election approaches.
by Doreen Brandt
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