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For marriage equality opponents, the losing streak continues to grow

Sunday, June 15, 2014
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In this July 28, 2010 file photo, National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown, left, tells Paula Hare, who is a transgender Vietnam War veteran, not to protest in front of his vehicle outside the state Capitol in St. Paul, Minn. Supporters against gay marriage hope a March for Marriage on Thursday, June 19, 2014, in Washington will draw thousands. Richard Tsong-Taatari, The Star-Tribune (AP)

In this July 28, 2010 file photo, National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown, left, tells Paula Hare, who is a transgender Vietnam War veteran, not to protest in front of his vehicle outside the state Capitol in St. Paul, Minn. Supporters against gay marriage hope a March for Marriage on Thursday, June 19, 2014, in Washington will draw thousands.

A leading advocate of same-sex marriage, Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry, said his adversaries have been placed in an ever-weakening position by trends in public opinion polls and by the recent court rulings. One after another, the judges have said they heard no convincing argument why gay couples should be denied the marriage rights afforded to opposite-sex couples.

“All the defenses of discrimination conjured up by the dwindling hard-core of opponents have been exposed as indefensible, insufficient, or untrue,” said Wolfson.

In the political realm, Democrats increasingly see advocacy of gay marriage as a winning position, while the Republican Party — whose 2012 national platform opposes gay marriage — is now experiencing some divisions.

In several states, some GOP leaders have objected to planks in the state party platform that oppose same-sex marriage. Also, several of the GOP governors whose states are among those allowing gay marriage have accepted the new reality rather than continue railing against it.

In Congress, conservative Republicans have introduced two bills opposing same-sex marriage, but neither has drawn strong support even within GOP ranks. One would require the federal government to defer to state marriage laws, including those banning gay marriage; the other would amend the U.S. Constitution to limit marriage to the union of one man and one woman.

Amid the string of defeats in court, many opponents of gay marriage have focused their wrath on the judges making those decisions.

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Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, depicted the rulings as “judicial tyranny.” Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee — who’ll be a featured speaker at Thursday’s march — called for the impeachment of the judge who struck down his state’s gay-marriage ban.

“When members of the judiciary act as if they were entitled to the power of all three branches of government, it creates a disturbing abuse of power,” Huckabee said in an email to The Associated Press.

Some conservative groups have launched fundraising appeals decrying recent cases where prominent people lost jobs or business opportunities because of their opposition to same-sex marriage.

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