Thursday, October 06, 2005

Radical religious right group accused of illegal activities in collection of Mass. marriage ban petition

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According to an article on, Vote on Marriage, a radical, religious right group made up of the Catholic Church and various evangelical groups have been accused of using "bait-and-switch" methods to gain signatures for their petition drive to have a gay marriage ban amendment put on the ballot. The Massachusetts State House will hold a special hearing on the accusations on October 18th. According to the article:
Vote On Marriage - an umbrella group made up of the Catholic Church and evangelical groups - needs 65,825 signatures by Thanksgiving for the measure to be considered. The names then would need to be verified by the Secretary of State. The proposed amendment would then go to the legislature where it requires the support of 50 members. The earliest it could go to voters would be in 2008. But, since the group began collecting names there have been a growing number of people who complain of illegal practices being used to get signatures. A number of people have complained to authorities while others have contacted newspapers throughout the state. A spokesperson for Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly, said Reilly's office has received about a dozen complaints. A special investigator has been assigned to follow up on the complaints. They all appear similar the Boston Globe reports - shoppers at plazas and beer stores say that after signing a separate petition to allow beer and wine sales in grocery stores, they were asked to sign a second petition with little or no explanation. That second petition was the gay-marriage measure.
Vote on Marriage hired a private company, Arno Political Consultants (a firm with some ties to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger) to collect signatures. If the accusations turn out to be true, it would be grounds for challenging the proposed amendment in court. ===== You know, it is not news that the radical, religious right uses lies and deceit to get what they want. I guess it is some sort of the ends justify the means thing (why, oh why did Machiavelli have to write that darned book of his).