Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee is
the target of a new anti-gay marriage ad produced by the National
Organization for Marriage (NOM), the nation's most vociferous
opponent of gay marriage.
In NOM's $100,000 ad campaign launched
on Tuesday, the group argues that Chafee's November 2 win wasn't
decisive enough for him to back a gay marriage proposal.
“A close race for governor. Lincoln
Chafee gets just 36 percent of the vote. Fewer votes than the Cool
Moose Party,” a female announcer says with a giggle, referring to
Cool Moose perennial candidate Robert Healey's race for Rhode Island
“Now Chafee claims a mandate to push
gay marriage with no vote of the people. Eighty percent of Rhode
Islanders want the chance to vote on marriage just as voters in 31
other states have done,” she adds. (The video is embedded in the
right panel of this page.)
In his inauguration speech, Chafee, a
Republican turned independent, reiterated his call for lawmakers to
legalize gay marriage and argued that the institution would be an
economic boom for the state.
“Our message is that getting 36% of
the vote is no mandate to redefine the institution of marriage for
all of Rhode Island society,” Christopher Plante, executive
director of the Rhode Island chapter of NOM, said in a statement.
“In some ways, Lincoln Chafee is an
accidental governor for Rhode Island, elected in the most unusual of
circumstances. Yet he expects legislators to follow him off the
cliff in pursuit of same-sex marriage,” Plante added.
Chafee competed in a field of seven
candidates to be elected governor. With the exception of Republican
John Robitaille, all candidates publicly supported the government
recognition of gay unions. Robitaille received 33 percent of the
Legislators in Rhode Island have
considered a gay marriage bill every year since 1997.
Other states expected to consider
legislation that would legalize, repeal or ban gay marriage include
Hampshire and Minnesota.
lawmakers are expected to consider a civil unions bill.