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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Snyder is trying to divert attention

Mayberry Campaign 10/26 - Republican challenger Andy Mayberry said today (10/26) that Rep. Vic Snyder is trying to divert people's attention away from Snyder's voting record by accusing Mayberry of "picking on" Snyder's wife. The controversy centers around remarks about gay marriage that were made during Tuesday's debate on AETN.

"I have not said a single negative word about Rev. Singleton, and Vic Snyder knows that," Mayberry said. "This is the standard 'I'm offended' line that Rep. Snyder often offers up when he is backed into a corner trying to defend his unpopular stance on an issue or a vote of his that is not reflective of his constituents' beliefs."

Snyder's wife, Betsy Singleton, is the senior pastor of Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church in Little Rock, where Snyder attends. Snyder originally brought his wife into the discussion earlier in the debate when he said, "My wife is a minister. She believes in second chances and redemption," and went on to imply that he, too, follows those same beliefs held by his wife and pastor.

Later, when discussing the issue of gay marriage, Snyder said that he voted against a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage because states have traditionally handled marriage law. Mayberry has said a federal amendment is needed because state laws are at risk of being stricken down by judges. (Note: New Jersey's highest court ruled on Wednesday that gay couples are entitled to the same legal rights and financial benefits as heterosexual couples. The New Jersey Supreme Court gave the state's Legislature 180 days to either expand existing laws or come up with new ones.)

Following Snyder's statement of why he voted against the federal marriage amendment, Mayberry said, "(Congressman Snyder) says his personal belief is that marriage is between a man and a woman. However, that is not what is preached in his church by his pastor -- by what you would consider his spiritual leader -- who also happens to be his wife. She has preached sermons that say that homosexual marriage should be blessed. This is available on their web site. I only bring this up because I know that my wife, and my pastor, my spiritual leaders influence how I think about things, and I think that takes place with most people. And how you think about things, you can?t separate that when you go to do your job. And part of your job is to vote on issues, and to vote the way that the people of your district would have you vote on those issues. I want to be a better representative for the people of the Second Congressional District and I want to stand up for what's right, and what?s right is that marriage is between a man and a woman."

Snyder said, "I tell you what, the only response I'm going to make to you, Mr. Mayberry, is I'm going to give you just a little bit of advice: You don?t get very far in Arkansas politics picking on a man?s wife or spouse." "That absolutely, certainly, is not my intention," Mayberry said. "I think that it?s only relevant, though, to see how someone?s mindset is in terms of how they vote on issues. I have nothing against -- at all -- Rep. Snyder?s wife, the Rev. Singleton. She can preach and teach whatever she wants to preach and teach in her church. That?s her right under the Constitution of the United States, the freedom of religion. I respect that."

Snyder followed up in a television interview on Wednesday to say that Mayberry "misquoted" his wife?s sermon on homosexuality. The sermon, as it appears on the Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church Web site (www.qqumc.org), states, "The problem for readers (of the Bible) today is that we also take into account that homosexuality may be 'natural' for some and thus not chosen, sinful behavior." Rev. Singleton?s sermon goes on to say, "? I believe that the church must find some way to offer blessings to committed gay and lesbian couples ?"

"If Vic Snyder believes that gay marriage is OK, then he should just say so -- instead of giving voters some political double-speak about states' rights. Federal judges are continuing to take away states' rights in this matter, so we are forced to turn to the federal government for protection of traditional marriage," Mayberry said. "I encourage Rep. Snyder to let voters know, in a straightforward manner, how he stands on the issue. Give voters all the necessary information to make an informed decision, and let them decide who best represents their own ideas about this and other issues. I believe voters would just like a straight answer regarding whether Vic Snyder agrees with the full text of the sermon that is preached in his church by his pastor and his wife. Voters are waiting on an answer."

It's time to take Mayberry thinking to Washington, D.C.!
Posted by Bill Smith at 11:15 AM - Post Link

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