The Washington Times editorial board accused Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jason Carter of concealing his support for LGBT equality in order to win over the state's voters, ignoring Carter's own words offering his full-throated support for marriage equality and mounting evidence that gay rights are decreasingly a wedge issue with voters, even in traditionally conservative states like Georgia.
In an August 19 editorial, the Times alleged that when it comes to his opinion on “homosexual demands,” Carter “dodges, weaves, and deflects, eager not to offend religiously conservative Georgia.” Writing that Carter can't win his closely contested race against Republican Gov. Nathan Deal if he embraces “the full rainbow agenda,” the Times asserted that Carter is hiding behind statements from his spokesman and supporters in the gay rights community:
Jason Carter wants to follow in his famous grandfather's footsteps. Mr. Carter, a Democrat, is running for governor of Georgia, a position Jimmy Carter held for a term before moving on to the White House. Jason Carter is willing to say pretty much whatever it takes to win. When someone asks his opinions on homosexual demands, he dodges, weaves and deflects, eager not to offend religiously conservative Georgia. But his gay supporters are saying it for him.
Georgia remains committed to traditional marriage. The left-leaning Public Policy Polling discovered last year that 6 of 10 Georgia voters want to keep the thousands-of-years-old definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. If Jason Carter yearns to come out in support of the full rainbow agenda, he knows better than to do it before the election.
The pro-homosexual website Project Q Atlanta doesn't like the sneaky approach, either. “Jason Carter collects gay cash, but stays mum on LGBT issues,” the site noted earlier this month about a fundraiser held for Mr. Carter. The event, organized and hosted by homosexual activists, raised nearly $90,000 for the Carter campaign. Reporters were barred from the fundraiser, lest the secret leak.
One man's pragmatism is another man's dishonesty. Voters deserve to know, loud and clear, what they'll get if they put another Carter in the governor's mansion on Nov. 4. Gov. Nathan Deal, the Republican incumbent running for re-election, should pressure Mr. Carter to say unequivocally whether he would be prepared as governor to fully defend Georgia's state constitutional amendment, enacted by the people, that defines traditional marriage.
It's true, as the Times noted, that some gay rights activists in Georgia expressed unease with Carter's previous relative silence on LGBT issues during the campaign. But the Times conveniently omitted the fact that this month Carter addressed those concerns head-on, affirming his longstanding support for marriage equality. This, by the Times' standards, apparently constitutes “dodg[ing], weav[ing], and deflect[ing]” on marriage equality:
CARTER: I have, for a very long time, supported marriage equality. ... I didn't understand [the Georgia Voice's editorial]. Everybody who knows me knows where I stand on the issue. I haven't had a conversion. My grandfather is 89 and supports marriage equality in part because of the influence we've had on him. I do think it's important for people to know that no one in the movement is talking about telling churches what to do. But as far as the government is concerned, marriage equality is something I believe in and have [believed in] for a very, very, very long time since before I got into politics.
Notably, while a majority of Georgians still oppose marriage equality, the same poll the Times cited shows that 57 percent of the state's voters support either civil unions or marriage for same-sex couples and that 72 percent oppose allowing employers to fire workers for being gay (The Washington Times, by contrast, has proclaimed that "discrimination is necessary" against LGBT workers).
The Times' misleading attack on Carter is the latest salvo in the paper's long-running crusade against LGBT equality. The paper acted as the media sponsor for the recent anti-gay March for Marriage, and its editorial board and columnists have assailed "militant homosexual activists" for opposing anti-LGBT business discrimination, accused liberals of using openly gay football player Michael Sam as a distraction from Benghazi, and charged that it's "lurid propaganda" to teach students that LGBT people exist.