6/7/06: FPN Leader Puts Senate Marriage Defeat in Perspective on CNN

Glover debates pro-homosexual “Log Cabin Republican Club” leader Patrick Guerriero.

FPN President Joe Glover discussed the U.S. Senate’s failure to pass a Marriage Protection Amendment before a live national television audience on June 7, 2006 — just hours after the vote took place. In an interview hosted by CNN National Political Correspondent John Roberts, Glover dispelled the notion that Senate inaction proves support for a marriage amendment is slipping.

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JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Let’s talk a little bit more about this now. Joining me are Patrick Guerriero, he’s the president of the Log Cabin Republicans, and Joe Glover, he is the president of the Family Policy Network. Both groups loyal to the same party, but about as far apart on this issue as you can possibly get. Let me throw this out to both of you. And Joe Glover, maybe you can answer it first. Is this the end of the road for the same-sex marriage amendment?

JOE GLOVER, PRESIDENT, FAMILY POLICY NETWORK: Well, of course not. You know, we were both — all three of us were on the other night and discussed this issue before the vote. And since then, this vote in the senate’s not the only thing that’s taking place. We’ve also had two major victories for marriage. One was in Pennsylvania where the House of Representatives was expected to have a close vote, and it wound up being 2 to 1 in favor of a marriage amendment there.

It was very strong language, in fact. And in Alabama where we won 4 to 1 to protect marriage in the state of Alabama, in spite of half a million votes beyond the republican primary being cast. So no, this is a long-term battle. We’ve got a lot of talk right now about some key senators that are now going to be targeted in the fall elections and beyond. And I think that we’re on our way to doing what we need to do. But this was an important first and second step.

Pat Guerrero, you want to take a swing at that? Is it dead?

PAT GUERRIERO, PRESIDENT, LOG CABIN REPUBLICANS: This was a colossal defeat for social extremism in America and in the Republican Party. The reality is that they were claiming they were going to win, win a majority. And this was a victory, really, for common sense, a victory for common decency. A victory for conservative federalism, believing that as Joe just made a case for, that states can deal with this issue that politicians in Washington should stay out of the business of family law, which has been precedent-setting in American history. And I think it was a victory for people who respect the American constitution.

ROBERTS: Joe, let’s get you to expand on that point. Failure of this bill was not a surprise, support for an amendment has been slipping, as Patrick Guerriero rightly pointed out, you pointed out before this was being handled by the states.

Well I don’t know that it has been slipping.

ROBERTS: Well polls show that it has. So let’s just stipulate that polls show that it’s been slipping.

No, actually that’s not true.

ROBERTS: Polls that we’ve taken have shown support for it. But I don’t want to argue about the actual methodology of polling. The question I wanted to ask you was –

GLOVER: Well, but John, you keep asserting that in fact, the numbers are slipping when, in fact, every time a state has an opportunity to educate people from both sides of this issue, over 70 percent on average have endorsed protecting marriage in the constitution.


GUERRIERO: Joe, you have a right to your own opinion and I respect that there will be differences of opinion, you just don’t have a right to your own facts. The facts are that every single year, as the American family has a dialogue about how to respect all citizens regardless of sexual orientation, that more and more people recognize there needs to be some civil way where law-abiding, tax-paying, gay and lesbian families can take on the responsibilities of lifelong relationships and have access to hospital care, inheritance and the basic things that the majority of Americans have.

GLOVER: You’ve already got that, Patrick.

GUERRIERO: I’m glad you could tell me what I have. The reality is we both pay taxes and I do not have those same responsibilities and benefits.

GLOVER: You absolutely have those things with a simple piece of paper, you can get visitation rights and you can have a will and leave money and an inheritance to anybody that you want. But this is about pushing a social agenda that’s against 70 percent of the American people, every time the voters actually have full disclosure about what it means.

ROBERTS: Gentlemen, let me just jump back in here if I could. I’ll let my first question go, but Joe, let me come back with another question if I could. You recently told “The New York Times” and said this about the “L.A. Times” and said this about the White House quote, “We don’t believe them anymore. President Bush twice made a big deal out of marriage but once again it gets into that big cushy office, you don’t here a peep out of him about marriage.” Are conservatives disappointed with the way that the administration has been handling this issue?

GLOVER: Absolutely. You know, the president got in Air Force One and he flew all over the country for two months before the prescription drug entitlement, which most conservatives didn’t support, came for — to a vote, and he campaigned for it. He went to battleground states, and he made sure that he put pressure on swing voters in the senate.

You know, this would have been a great opportunity to head up to Michigan where Debby Stabenow, who’s a democrat, opposed the marriage amendment today, and yet 60 percent of Michiganders supported a marriage amendment in that state and want a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. And so it could have been a great opportunity for him to put pressure on there but it would have been a great opportunity to go up to Maryland where Michael Steele is the probable nominee coming from the U.S. Senate in Maryland.

ROBERTS: Bottom line is –

GLOVER: But he didn’t do those things and people are frustrated that he didn’t take advantage of those opportunities.

Well certainly this issue has made for some spirited debate inside the Republican Party. Joe Glover and Patrick Guerriero thanks for joining us again tonight. Really appreciate it.

GUERRIERO: Have a good night.

Alright you, too.

GLOVER: Thanks for having us.

This transcript can be found online at CNN’s website here: