[Note: for update about the preacher at the rally who said God sent Hurricane Sandy to punish same-sex marriage, scroll to end]
What were they thinking? Who was it that had such an unsure grasp of the distinction between church and state as to put the Frederick County Republican Party’s imprimatur on a flyer like this? Excerpt:
GET OUT THE VOTE !
Marriage Praise, Worship & Victory Celebration
(MARRIAGE = ONE MAN + ONE WOMAN)
Sunday, November 4, 2012 at 3 PM
at the BAKER PARK—BAND SHELL
BRING YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY!! (121 North Bentz Street)
COME WORSHIP, PRAISE,
PRAY, AND CELEBRATE GOD- ORDAINED MARRIAGE
VOTE AGAINST QUESTION 6
Yes, this “worship, praise” event to entrench “God-ordained” concepts as law is an official calendar item for the county GOP, where it can be found above the words “By Authority of the Frederick County Republican Central Committee.”
The rally is today, in Frederick’s Baker Park. Among the featured speakers is the exceedingly controversial Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council. In 2010 Sprigg declared on national TV that he thought homosexual conduct ought to be outlawed and subjected to criminal sanctions:
Another speaker at today’s rally is Derek McCoy of the Maryland Marriage Alliance (MMA), a headliner at an Oct. 19 town hall meeting organized by MMA. At that meeting, Robert Anderson of Randallstown’s Colonial Baptist Church announced that both gays and those who support their cause were “worthy of death” and “deserving of death.” McCoy, sitting next to Anderson as a co-panelist as well as host, registered no objection and indeed refused to disavow the remarks later when pressed. At another MMA event last month, a participating minister said of gays, “they’re after our children, they’re predators.”
Other county GOPs, including Howard and Prince George’s, have had the good sense to stay out of the Question 6 fray, leaving it to the conscience of individual party members. Some in Frederick’s party, by contrast, seem willing to run the risk of associating the party in the public mind with religious extremism of a sort guaranteed to alienate moderate voters.
Or, to return to the original question: what were they thinking?
P.S. Del. Kathy Afzali (R-Middletown) has vigorously promoted Sunday’s rally, perhaps not surprisingly.
Update: The above was written and posted before the rally took place. At the rally, Pastor Luke Robinson of Quinn Chapel AME Church said that “God sent” Hurricane Sandy to punish NYC Mayor Bloomberg and other Northeastern backers of gay marriage, an assertion likely to draw widespread press attention. MMA’s Derek McCoy, though listed as a speaker on the flyer, did not attend.