Ad Watch | GOP on Kay Hagan


N.C. Republican Party.

What the mailer says

Cover: Two men's hands; rings that say “guy.” “With Kay Hagan and liberal judges, we're one step closer to legal gay marriages.”

Inside pages: Pictures of two cake figurines of men in tuxedos, Hagan and donors Wendy Kaminer and Woody Kaplan.

“Liberal Kay Hagan opposes constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in North Carolina. Across America, liberal judges are overturning state laws banning gay marriage. In North Carolina a state constitutional amendment is needed to protect traditional marriage and prevent liberal judges from imposing their gay marriage agenda on the state. Kay Hagan is actively opposed to this needed amendment to ban gay marriage in North Carolina….”

“Maybe that helps explain why Kay Hagan flew to Boston to pick up campaign cash from leaders of the Godless Americans PAC, Wendy Kaminer and Woody Kaplan. The Godless American PAC actively supports political candidates who support their liberal agenda to legalize gay marriage in North Carolina, remove ‘under God' from the Pledge of Allegiance and force the Boy Scouts of America to accept atheists and homosexuals as troop leaders….”

Back page: “Liberal Kay Hagan opposes constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in North Carolina.”

What the record shows

Gay marriage: Gay marriage is illegal in North Carolina.

A state law passed in 1871 defines marriage as between “a male and female person.” A second law passed in 1996 specifically invalidates same-sex unions.

In California, Connecticut and Massachusetts, state Supreme Court judges have overturned statutes outlawing gay marriage, citing concerns over equality. Except for Florida, every other Southern state has passed an amendment to its state constitution outlawing gay marriage that cannot be overturned by judges.

Starting in 2004, N.C. legislators began introducing bills that would put a similar amendment up for a referendum here. House and Senate Democratic leaders sent all 10 bills to die in committee.

In a 2005 interview with the Greensboro News & Record, Hagan called gay marriage “a polarizing issue.”

“In North Carolina we have a law saying marriage is between a man and a woman. I don't think there's a need for a (state) constitutional amendment,” she said. A campaign spokeswoman said she continues to oppose such a measure.

Godless Americans: Hagan attended a Sept. 15 fundraiser in Boston hosted by author Wendy Kaminer and her husband, Woody Kaplan.

Kaplan is on the advisory board of the Godless Americans PAC, whose Web site says it supports candidates who are atheists and supports the separation of religion and government, including a “Godless pledge.” It is not clear that Kaminer is a leader of the PAC.

Hagan's campaign said Hagan does not support removing “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance.

Her son is an Eagle Scout. Her campaign said that while Hagan opposes discrimination, she believes questions about who can be troop leaders should be left to the Boy Scouts.

Is the ad accurate?

Yes and no. Hagan does not support a constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage and she did attend the fundraiser. But the mailer incorrectly suggests that she shares the views of the Godless Americans PAC on the Pledge of Allegiance and the Boy Scouts.

Ryan Teague Beckwith, (Raleigh) News & Observer