Thursday, May 23, 2013
(Continued from page 1)
In this 2001 file photo, Catholic activist Paul Madore.
Staff File Photo
In April, Heath and Madore expressed frustration that they were once again not included in the group fighting gay marriage. Emrich, the National Organization for Marriage and the Christian Civic League, now led by Carroll Conley, are in charge of the campaign.
"In 2009, (Emrich) refused to work with Heath claiming that Heath couldn't be trusted," Heath and Madore said in a joint news release. "While we are eager to work with anyone who will fight sodomy based 'marriage' … we wonder why Rev. Emrich willfully excludes us."
Conley said it's not unusual to see changes in campaign staffing over time, but he acknowledged that he and Emrich wanted a less aggressive tone for this campaign.
On Monday, Madore, Heath and Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality talked for more than an hour about what they believe is a homosexual agenda that goes beyond the effort to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.
They said that anyone who disagrees with gay marriage will be called a bigot if it becomes legal, and said they worry that it will be not only taught, but encouraged, in schools.
That hasn't been the message of the official No on 1 campaign.
"Typically, our focus has been a more narrow focus," Conley said. "We focus on the definition of marriage and what the consequences would be."
Conley replaced Heath in 2009 after Heath resigned from the Christian Civic League shortly before the vote on gay marriage. He said Heath and Madore deserve credit for their previous success in fighting gay rights, but the communications strategy has changed.
"It has to be done with respect and compassion," Conley said. "Not everybody is as committed to that. Anybody that was going to be part of this team had to have our level of commitment to that."
Staff Writer Susan Cover can be reached at 621-5643 or at: