Ga. gays upset about candidate's switch

May 29, 2006 at 9:33 PM
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ATLANTA, May 29 (UPI) -- Gay voters in Georgia say they may boycott the Democratic gubernatorial primary because of a candidate's change of heart on same-sex marriage.

Secretary of State Cathy Cox, who opposed a ban on gay marriage two years ago, recently called for the Legislature to replace a the measure overturned by the courts.

The gay backlash could hurt Cox in the July 18 gubernatorial primary against Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Much of Georgia is socially conservative, and the gay marriage ban passed by a 90 percent margin in 25 counties, and 3-1 overall. But Atlanta has the largest concentration of gays in the south, making them a significant voting bloc in the area.

Charles Bullock, a political science professor at the University of Georgia, said Democrats did not realize until gay marriage went to the voters how strong the feeling against it is in the state.

"They knew it was a loser, but they did not know it would be a 3-to-1 loser," he said.

Georgia allows cross-over primary voting and some gays may actually vote Republican in July to oppose Ralph Reed, the former head of the Christian Coalition, who is running for lieutenant governor.

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