Activist discusses possible anti-gay amendment03/10/08 Arielle Stevenson
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Rev. Barry Lynn, a reverend in the United Church of Christ and longtime advocate of the separation of church and state spoke Saturday in Tampa about the possible amendment banning gay marriage in the state of Florida. Lynn is also the executive director of Americans United, a non-sectarian, non-partisan group devoted to the separation of church and state. He says this is really a campaign to make some Floridians invisible.
Lynn is a television and radio regular, having many of his own programs over the years on networks like NBC, he has also appeared on the Oâ€™Reilly factor several times and has lovingly been called by Oâ€™Reilly a "paranoid crazy."
The most dangerous of all the arguments that the religious right make in campaigns against gay marriage arenâ€™t biblical legal ones says Lynn, and the primary argument is that legalizing gay marriage would criminalize Christianity because those churches that refuse to marry same sex couples based on religious beliefs would be violating the law. Americanâ€™s united released a survey they conducted in 2006 that confirmed the effectiveness of this argument.
The current process in place for marriage, actually shows religious preferentialism in the law says Lynn.
The possible anti-gay marriage amendment on the ballot appears to be a repeat of what is already in place nationally, that however, according to Lynn is not actually the case.
But Lynn says that much of the core reasons amendments like the one on the ballot in November are so pursued by those in the religious right is to serve not only as a smoke screen to larger issues but to gain voters that consider themselves to be conservative.
Recently Jon Stewart had new evangelical leader John Wallace on his show, Lynn says that those watching should not be fooled by Wallaceâ€™s message the religious right is dead, and says hard evidence of this is the amendment against gay marriage right here in Florida.
Florida For Marriage and John Stemburger are hoping to see that gay marriage is officially banned in the state. But opposition against the amendment is being organized by a group called Florida Red and Blue. The fate of gay marriage in Florida hinges on whether those for the amendment get 60 percent of the vote.