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11 July 2013

Could Gay Marriage be Thrown Under the Bus with DuBose Porter as Democratic Party Chairman?

Not too long ago, Project Q Atlanta wondered publicly if the change in Georgia Democratic Party leadership would "bring a change to the Dems' marriage equality stance, too."

Project Q Atlanta is a website that caters to Georgia's GLBT community.

"Mike Berlon embraced gay marriage in Georgia before it was cool," Matt Hennie wrote for Project Q Atlanta. "But will Berlon's replacement at the helm of the state party be as outspoken on gay marriage?"

Former Georgia Democratic Party chairman Mike Berlon resigned last month after media reports detailed a litany of legal problems surrounding Berlon's private law practice. The state Democratic party is now engaged in a process to select a new leader. Four have announced their candidacies for Georgia Democratic Party chairman, and one of those candidates has a rocky relationship with the state's gay and lesbian community.

DuBose Porter, former House Democratic Leader and former House Speaker Pro Tempore, voted twice to ban gay marriage in the state of Georgia.

During his 2010 gubernatorial campaign, Porter was asked if he would seek to overturn the constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriages. Porter responded in the negative. The Georgia Voice, another GLBT publication, said then that the "Governor’s race offers little positive for gay voters."

"None of the candidates to be Georgia’s next governor have campaigned for LGBT votes, although several have long —mostly negative— records on LGBT issues," the Georgia Voice article reads.

In 2012, the Democratic National Convention adopted a platform that included these sentences:

We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples.

We oppose discriminatory federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny equal protection of the laws to committed same-sex couples who seek the same respect and responsibilities as other married couples.

The Georgia Democratic Party's platform doesn't include this language.

Georgia's GLBT activists worry if Democrats could throw gay marriage under the bus.

It is a valid concern for some.

If DuBose Porter becomes Georgia Democratic Party chairman, it'll mark a stark contrast between him and former Party chair Mike Berlon.

Mike Berlon embraced gay marriage in Georgia. DuBose Porter helped ban it.