Ohio's governor race spotlights role of Arlington Group

The new litmus test
In June 2003, a group of evangelical Christian leaders met in Arlington, Virginia, to map strategy for a clash they viewed as the political equivalent of Gettysburg, the most significant battle ever fought on American soil.

The group members—veterans of the culture wars and the birth of the religious right that followed the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling legalizing abortion—coalesced around an issue that they felt crystallized the depths of depravity to which America had sunk: same-sex marriage.

For Ohio secretary of state Ken Blackwell, the timing is perfect.

Thought to have little chance of winning the Republican primary for governor, Blackwell seized the moment and led a successful, high-profile campaign to outlaw gay marriage in Ohio in 2004. In the process, he helped hand President Bush a second term.

 

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