Frank Schubert successfully led the Proposition 8 campaign in California to keep marriage gender-integrated. Since then, marriage advocates have tapped Schubert to direct the effort to defend pro-gender marriage in four states preparing to vote whether or not to legalize gender segregation in marriage: Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington.
Gay rights leaders despise Mr. Schubert, who has devoted himself to the issue in recent years, for what they call his misleading arguments. They have also learned to fear him for messages that are less openly harsh than those voiced by many other opponents of gay rights: a strategy aimed at reassuring the moderate voters who decide such elections that barring gays and lesbians from marriage does not make them bigots.
It bears repeating: people with same-sex attraction are not barred from marriage. They can marry in all 50 states. The marriage license does not ask about sexual orientation.
Telling voters they are not prejudiced if they vote against same-sex marriage is “diabolically smart and creative,” said Fred Sainz, vice president for communications of the Human Rights Campaign, a national advocacy group for gay rights. “He is putting lipstick on the pig of discrimination.”
What is deceptive and “creative” is assuring voters they are not prejudiced if they vote for gender-segregation and discrimination in marriage. By its very nature, same-sex marriage discriminates against a gender. The union of two women excludes man and fatherhood, while segregating men denies children their right to have a mother.
For his part, Mr. Schubert, who has a lesbian sister raising two children in a domestic partnership, says, “It’s hurtful to know that many people think I dislike gays and lesbians and wish them harm.”
He had not thought much about the marriage issue, he said, before he was tapped in 2008 to run the Proposition 8 campaign, which was mounted by religious conservatives to override the California Supreme Court decision permitting same-sex marriage. ..
“The more I learned about the marriage issue, the more committed I became,” he recalled.
Anti-gender marriage activists have more money at their disposal. They have accrued $25 million to redefine marriage while pro-gender advocates have only $12.5 million.
With only half the amount of money, pro-gender advocates rely on networking, communication, and smart ads.
“Everyone has a right to love who they choose,” says an ad now running in Minnesota, “but nobody has a right to redefine marriage.”
Mr. Schubert said that while he tailors messages to each state, certain themes have proved effective: that marriage between a man and a woman is the tested foundation of a stable society, that children do best when raised by a married father and mother, and that “it is possible to respect the rights of gays and lesbians without redefining marriage.”
In each of the four states, Mr. Schubert is working with a local team that will mount the “ground game,” mobilizing volunteers to knock on doors and run phone banks. He creates the advertising and approves the message.
You can support pro-gender marriage with a donation to the Million Dollar Match for Marriage.