We’re Changing Our Name

http://www.rightsequalrights.com
It’s been just two years since a small group of friends and I started Californians Against Hate to draw attention to the mega-donors to California’s Proposition 8 campaign. It’s been a busy 23 months.

We began on July 18, 2008 by helping to assemble a coalition of LGBT organizations and labor in San Diego to boycott Doug Manchester’s three hotels. Doug Manchester had contributed $125,000 in very early money to quality and pass Proposition 8, which took marriage rights away from millions of Californians. Why should we support his three hotels, only to have that money used against us?

The Manchester Hotels boycott exceeded our wildest expectations. According to their own admission, the boycott is costing the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel alone approximately $1 million per month. This is due to dozens of canceled large meetings and conventions at Manchester’s flagship property, and thousands of individuals and businesses who refuse to cross our picket line.

Manchester also sold his Idaho hotel, and now rumors abound that his brand new $400 million Grand del Mar Resort in San Diego is in receivership. It has recently been reported that Global Hyatt Corporation may be buying a majority interest in his Manchester Grand Hyatt. The sale was just approved by the San Diego Port Commission.

We have led three other boycotts against the biggest donors to Proposition 8. We have settled two; one against Bolthouse Farms and another against Garff Automotive Group. Both had family members who contributed $100,000 to pass Prop 8. Now both companies are generous supporters of a variety of LGBT organizations.

Our one remaining boycott is against Terry Caster’s A-1 Self Storage Company. Terry Caster and his family gave a whopping $693,000 to Prop 8. Caster was even quoted in the San Diego Union-Tribune saying that gay marriage “would create a sick society.”

During the summer of 2008, we discovered the active involvement of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) in Prop 8. The Mormon Church had taken over virtually every aspect of the Yes on 8 campaign.

Mormon families contributed approximately $30 million of the $40 million raised, the Church produced 27 slick commercials, put up an expensive web site, bussed in thousands of volunteers from Utah, had massive phone banks yet only reported a mere $2078 in non-monetary contributions three days before the election. Two weeks later I filed a sworn complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) against the Mormon Church for not reporting its vast financial involvement in the campaign.

The Commission prosecuted the case, and conducted an unprecedented 19 month investigation of the Salt Lake City based Church’s finances. Three weeks ago the FPPC found the Mormon Church guilty of 13 counts of late reporting and they were fined $5539. That was the first time a religion was found guilty of election irregularities in the 36 year history of the FPPC.

I also have done battle with the Mormon Church’s front group, the infamous National Organization for Marriage (NOM). I have challenged all of their false and misleading actions for the last two years. It was all of their arrogant and illegal campaign activities last fall in Maine that was the final straw.

NOM contributed over $1.9 million to take away that state’s recently passed right to marry for all, and completely disregarded Maine’s long-standing election law in the process. NOM was required to report all its contributor names of $100 and more to election officials. NOM refused, and continues to refuse to turn over their records, even after being ordered to do so by three federal judges and the Attorney General of Maine. I have attended three separate Commission meetings in Maine to make sure they comply with the Maine election law.

As a result of all my efforts, I was subpoenaed by the National Organization for Marriage last September as part of their federal law suit, ProtectMarriage.com v. Bowen. That law suit was filed in California by the official Yes on Prop 8 committee and NOM to invalidate all campaign reporting laws in California. They subpoenaed me strictly to harass me and make me spend a lot of money. Thanks to the generous support of so many of you who contributed to my legal defense fund, Five for Fred, most all of the legal costs have been covered.

Now as we take on new challenges and go in new directions, we have passed a Board resolution to officially change our name. From this day forward, Californians Against Hate will be known as Rights Equal Rights.

Our new name reflects our new direction and makes us more national in scope.

Rest assured, that I have never been more determined and motivated to help lead the LGBTQ community in our fight for full equal rights in this country.

Younger people who begin to realize that they might be lesbian, gay, bi-sexual transgender or queer will soon be afforded all the same rights as their brothers, sisters friends and neighbors.
That is what our founding fathers had in mind when they wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

We will settle for nothing less.

Best regards,

Fred Karger
www.RightsEqualRights.com

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News Coverage: Fines Proposed Against Mormon Church for Prop 8 Campaign Finance Violations

From the Human Rights Campaign:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fines Proposed Against Mormon Church for Prop 8 Campaign Finance Violations

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign today hailed a proposal by the California Fair Political Practices Committee (FPPC) that would fine The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) for failing to report all of its late non-monetary contributions in its efforts to pass Proposition 8 in California in 2008. While the recommended fine of just more than $5,500 for the unreported late contributions of $36,968 to the Yes on 8 campaign may seem inconsequential, it represents a pattern of blatant disregard for California election laws and provides ongoing evidence that the Mormon Church was a significant leader in the campaign to repeal marriage equality, even while it evaded standard reporting requirements and denied its involvement.

HRC President Joe Solmonese also commended the efforts of Fred Karger of Californians Against Hate, for filing the initial FPPC complaint that has shed light on the anti-equality activities of the Mormon Church. The issue, scheduled to be discussed at its June 10th meeting, follows the January 2009 admission by the Mormon Church to the FPPC that it failed to report in-kind contributions to the Yes on 8 campaign of $190,000. Previously the Mormon Church had failed to disclose its real involvement in the Proposition 8 campaign, as California law required it to do.

“Thanks to Fred Karger’s dogged pursuit of the truth, we now know the Mormon Church not only violated the law in its election work to pass Prop 8, it most likely did so purposely” said Solmonese. “It’s just not credible that a multi-billion dollar, sophisticated organization like the LDS Church didn’t know or understand the election law requirements. California requires early disclosure so voters know who’s behind these referendum fights and clearly, the Mormon Church worked overtime to keep their full involvement hidden from the people of California.”

A copy of the FPPC complaint is available at the link.

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Open Letter to Maggie Gallagher

Cross-posted from Fred Karger’s article at The Huffington Post:

Open Letter to Maggie Gallagher

Like millions of Americans, I was able to see the absolute joy experienced by hundreds of gay and lesbian couples who are now able to legally marry in Washington, DC. I wept when I saw television reports of couples who have been together, some for decades, finally able to share in the joy and happiness afforded automatically to their straight brothers and sisters.

Hooray for the Washington, DC City Council and Mayor Fenty for allowing all its residents full equality under the law just like our founding fathers intended.

I cried with joy for all the young LGBTQ Americans who can clearly see that they are not inferior, but equal. I am thrilled that kids growing up now know that they can marry the person that they love in five enlightened states, and in our nation’s capitol.

Hooray for our courageous leaders who stood up to bigotry and discrimination and did the right thing. They stood up to you and your army of paid henchmen who fight marriage equality tooth and nail every step of the way.

I don’t have words to express my disgust toward you and all those you are fronting for at the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). You have spent at least $25 million in just the past few years to try and undo the happiness of so many people. Hundreds of couples lined up in the cold and rain of Washington last Wednesday in order get a license so they could finally marry the one they love.

Why are you, all your financial backers and all your high-priced attorneys across the country hell-bent on destroying so many lives and hurting so many people, just as they are about to experience the happiest day of their lives?

What is so wrong with your life, that you make your living attempting to hurt so many others?

You preside over two extremely well funded organizations that portend to “protect marriage.” You speak all over the county at marriage rallies. You are on TV all the time defending what you call the “sanctity of marriage.” You have written books on marriage, one of which is even titled, The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better-Off Financially, yet NOM’s Executive Director, Brian Brown and you viciously attack anyone who gets in your way.

Are You Even Married, Maggie?

No one has ever seen your husband. You attend countless marriage events, chock full of married couples, celebrating marriage, yet you always, always show up alone.

I had the displeasure of attending your recent presentation at the CATO Institute in Washington, DC. I was amazed to see that you don’t wear a wedding ring. No rings on any fingers. Where is your alleged husband? Why no ring?

No rings on any fingers.

Just last year, NOM proudly said it spent over $8 million in a dozen states in your recently released “Investor’s Report.”

That doesn’t even include the millions more in attorney’s fees and money raised through your 501(c)3 charitable fund.

You fight people’s happiness at the ballot box, state legislatures and through too many law suits to count.

Recently, NOM has lead the effort to undo the Washington, DC law through every means possible, including going to Congress, the courts, all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. Brian Brown’s angry email from Friday states, “Don’t believe the lies. It’s not over in D.C. by any means.”

Where Does All Your Money Come From?

You continually hide where all your millions come from on your extremely late or never reported federal income tax filings. You refuse to cooperate with the California and Maine Ethics Commissions (both of whom are currently investigating your National Organization for Marriage), and when these investigations began into your many campaign irregularities, you sued both states to stop their investigation in an attempt to intimidate those seeking the truth.

Anyone who dares to support equality becomes the victim of your venom and hate.

We will not be intimidated. We refuse to allow you, and all those paying your salary, to hurt any more young people.

We have enlisted our own army to fight NOM and you at every turn. We are dedicated to finding out the truth about you and the front group that you head. And we will not rest until your cover of secrecy and deceit is lifted.

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News Coverage: Gay group targets Romney

The banner ad ran online at the New Hampshire Union-Leader, the Boston Globe and the Salt Lake Tribune websites

From Ben Smith’s Politico column – January 20, 2010:

Gay group targets Romney

My colleague Ken Vogel reports that a California political operative whose hardball opposition to California’s 2008 anti-same-sex-marriage initiative generated controversy has set his sights on Mitt Romney:

Fred Karger, a prominent gay rights activist, later this week will launch a campaign urging Romney to lobby the Mormon Church to back down from its opposition to same-sex marriage.

Romney’s Mormonism hurt him during his unsuccessful 2008 bid for the GOP presidential nomination. And Karger’s campaign nods toward Romney’s 2012 presidential ambitions. Not only is it debuting roughly two years before New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary, but it will launch with an ad on the websites of the New Hampshire Union-Leader, the Boston Globe and The Salt Lake Tribune.

The ad will link to the website of a new group called Rights Equal Rights, which is funded in part by Californians Against Hate, a leading opponent of the anti-same-sex ballot initiative. The website asserts that “as a national political leader and influential member of the Mormon Church, Mitt Romney could persuade church leaders to end their 15 years of active involvement, including their massive financial support, to oppose equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans.”

Kim Farrah, a spokeswoman for the Mormon Church, pointed out that the church itself “did not spend tens of millions of dollars in campaigns to ban gay marriages” — as Rights Equal Rights’ website claims — but also defended the church’s ability “to speak out on moral issues as part of the Democratic process.”

Though Romney holds no official role within the church beyond being a member, its leaders and membership strongly backed his 2008 presidential campaign and can be expected to align behind him if he runs again in 2012.

While reminders of Romney’s Mormonism won’t help him with the broader GOP electorate, reminders of his opposition to same-sex marriage might buoy his standing with social conservatives. In 2008, they held against him a pledge he made (http://www.politico.com/blogs/jonathanmartin/0807/Romneys_tonal_shift.html) during a 1994 Senate race to be a stronger advocate for gay rights than his opponent, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), a champion of the gay community.

A Romney spokesman declined to comment on Karger’s effort, though during the presidential campaign, his aides asserted that his stances never shifted on gay issues. They pointed out that he had long been on record opposed to same-sex marriage, as well as discrimination against gays.

But Karger charged Romney had “flip-flopped. The new Mitt Romney would be a disaster for the gay community as president.”

Still, Karger asserted the target of his campaign is not Romney but, rather, the Mormon Church, which supported the California initiative.

Posted by Ben Smith 02:34 PM

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News Coverage: Prop 8 screenings draw standing ovations, but no LDS officials

From Rosemary Winters’ blog in the Salt Lake Tribune, LGBT FYI:

Prop 8 screenings draw standing ovations, but no LDS officials

Last night, I attended the Salt Lake City screening of “8: The Mormon Proposition,” the Sundance documentary about the LDS Church’s role in overturning gay marriage in California.

The film, as has become a trend (see video below), enjoyed an extended standing ovation from the audience. But co-director Steven Greenstreet complained that LDS Church officials still have not accepted his offer for a free ticket to see the film and discuss it.

It’s doubtful an LDS general authority or public-affairs person will turn up at one of the remaining screenings and sound off in a Q&A.

But here’s what some others had to say after the film showed at the Tower Theatre.

  • Fred Karger of Californians Against Hate said he is getting ready to file a “supplemental complaint” with the California Fair Political Practices Commission alleging unreported LDS Church contributions to the Prop 8 campaign based on new evidence introduced during a federal trial going on now in San Francisco.
  • “This is not a gay issue,” said former Mormon Emily Pearson, who was interviewed in the film. “It’s very important that straight people get noisy and courageous.”
  • Tyler Barrick, who’s marriage to Spencer Jones is featured in the film, said he has achieved what his sisters have not: When Barrick was a child, he said, “my mom would go on and on and on about how my sisters would grow up to marry returned missionaries. And I was the first one to do it.”
  • Linda Stay, Barrick’s mom, said she picked her son over her Mormon religion, and she hopes to inspire other moms to do the same. Most of all, she said, she did it for her LDS grandkids. “Some day they will know that this mom stood on the side of her kids.”

LGBT FYI is a blog about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Rosemary Winters covers politics and LGBT issues for The Salt Lake Tribune. Since joining The Tribune in 2003, she has written about small business, global warming, city governments, sexuality and Utah’s involvement in California’s Proposition 8. During the 2009 legislative session, she outed former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. — as a supporter of civil unions.

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Fred Karger’s iReport: Prop 8 Trial

Via Chris Morrow, Fred Karger’s iReport:

Fred Karger went to the Prop8 Trial in San Francisco and took one of my cameras to document it. He interviewed: Stuart Milk – Nephew of Harvey Milk, Theresa Stewart – Chief Deputy City Attorney San Francisco, Adam Hahn – young activist, and David Boies – Boies, Schiller, & Flexner.

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News Coverage: Ex-Political Pundit Embraces Gay Rights Activism

From The Laguna Beach Independent:

Ex-Political Pundit Embraces Gay Rights Activism

Fred Karger’s activism blossomed in the fight to preserve the now-defunct Boom Boom Room, seen here in an informal memorial garden for AIDS victims near the nightclub.

By Jennifer Erickson

Laguna Beach resident Fred Karger’s fight against the 2008 California ballot initiative to make same-sex marriage illegal has transformed him into a nationally known gay advocate as well as a target of a daunting lawsuit.

Yet, Karger, 59, had not even come out publicly until 2006 when beginning a local campaign to “Save the Boom,” the legendary gay Laguna Beach nightclub that closed in 2007.

Having worked as a political consultant in Los Angeles for 27 years, Karger’s activism was public, but his sexual orientation was very private. “I was scared to death of being found out,” said Karger of his years of secrecy. “Looking back, it’s hard to even imagine what I went through, the fear of being discovered for so many years…”

Karger’s involvement in politics began at the tender age of 10, attending a press conference with his grandmother in the suburbs of Chicago where he grew up. “I just always loved it,” he said, adding that he used to ride his bike to the local campaign headquarters of various politicians.

But political activism was a volunteer activity for Karger, who moved to Los Angeles after graduating from college in 1973. He didn’t consider it a career option and instead worked as an actor for three years. When his work became politics, Karger’s acting took on a more personal dimension.

After volunteering for the campaign of a state senator, Karger was hired by a political consulting firm run by Bill Roberts, who became his mentor. Their first major client was a state senator from Long Beach, George Deukmejian, then running for attorney general. The firm helped Deukmejian’s subsequent race for governor.

Karger worked for Roberts until his untimely death in 1988. By then, Karger was a partner in the firm, which would shift to corporate clients from politicians over the next decade.

Until his retirement to Laguna Beach in 2004, Karger successfully played the role of a straight man. “My acting background probably helped me put on a good act for a long time,” he said, admitting to an 11-year relationship with another man that neither his employer nor family knew about.

In Laguna, the tables turned. Instead of hiding his orientation to save his job, Karger’s self-appointed job is now to “save” gay rights.

“This is a very powerful story, because it is a story that is replicated all over the country and the world, the story of a man growing up who is gay and unable to deal with it for lots of reasons,” said Bob Gentry, Laguna’s first openly gay mayor, whom Karger considers his hero.

That Karger’s activism dovetailed so seamlessly with his coming out should be no surprise, Gentry said, since newfound freedom is empowering.

Saving the Boom saved Karger. He lamented the closing of gay bars in Santa Barbara, and was afraid that Laguna’s fate might be the same. He looked to Gentry for advice. “He gave me a pep talk and said ‘Don’t be afraid, you’re doing the right thing. Be proud of what you’re doing.’”

The Boom effort won him recognition in the gay community and proved the perfect segue into a far bigger battle.

Karger’s years of experience in politics attuned him to the need to question the role of big donors in the anti gay marriage Prop. 8 campaign. He looked at similar battles in other states and found that no one was challenging major donor opponents there either. Karger decided to take up the gauntlet, though it made some uneasy.

Since establishing Californians Against Hate in July 2008, Karger has strived for full disclosure of the people and organizations financing the campaign against gay marriage rights. “I wanted to make it socially unacceptable for people to give massive amounts of money to take away the rights of a minority,” said Karger. And despite voter approval of Proposition 8, he believes that has been accomplished, though not without personal cost to him.

Californians Against Hate filed a complaint with the state Fair Political Practices Commission against the Mormon Church in November 2008 for failing to report numerous non-monetary contributions to ProtectMarriage. com, a coalition formed to support Prop 8. The enforcement division of the FPPC subsequently opened an investigation of the allegations made in the complaint.

When gay marriage opponents began supporting an initiative last year in Maine to overturn same-sex weddings, Karger called for another investigation, writing Maine’s Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices and its attorney general, detailing alleged election law violations by Stand for Marriage Maine.

Karger’s activism in September led to his entanglement in a federal lawsuit. He was served a subpoena by the National Organization for Marriage, organized to oppose same-sex marriage in state legislatures, in its suit against top California state officials over public records.

Karger anticipated what he believes is retaliation. The subpoena compels him to produce a daunting amount of records for Californians Against Hate since January 2008. He retained Stevens, O’Connell and Jacobs to represent him.

Gentry believes that Karger’s fight for transparency is fundamental to suppressing oppression of gay and lesbian people. Gentry is convinced that Karger’s opponents are trying to silence him since “they do not want our voice because our voice is a voice of honesty and transparency. Their voice is a voice of innuendo, prejudice and bigotry.”

It turns out, the subpoena held a silver lining, literally and figuratively. Last month, under both the emotional and financial strain, Karger set up a legal defense fund, “FiveforFred.com,” requesting five-dollar donations from supporters in an email plea. He discovered just how many people are already behind him.

He’s received more than $18,000 from people all over the country, much of it in five-dollar contributions. “The fact that I’ve gotten this huge amount of support is so meaningful and gratifying. Quite frankly it makes all the difference,” he said, and will help pay for the latest invoices from his attorneys.

According to Gentry, Karger “is becoming a hero to thousands of people who hear about him, because he gives them the strength to be themselves.”

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News Release: Mormon Congressman Leads Effort to Overturn DC Gay Marriage Law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Fred Karger
December 22, 2009
619-592-2008

Utah Congressman Chaffetz Leads Effort to Dump Recently Enacted Gay Marriage Law in Washington, DC

Salt Lake City, UT — Mormon freshman Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), ranking Republican on the Congressional subcommittee that oversees Washington, DC, is now trying to undue the District’s new law that allows same-sex marriage in our nation’s capitol. Congress has 30 days to overturn that law.

The president of the National Organization for Marriage, which was created by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) two years ago to fight gay marriage throughout the country, announced last week that they would go to the ballot and to the courts to overturn marriage equality in Washington, DC. Well, she left out a third avenue, going to the Congress to veto the new law. Maggie Gallagher, NOM’s President said that they would defeat it, and here they go again.

NOM is very effective. They were responsible for Proposition 8 qualifying for the California ballot last year which ended same-sex marriage there. They were successful in overturning Maine’s gay marriage law last month, having contributed 64% of all money raised ($1.9 million of the $3 million) in that state. Now they have set their sights on our most recent victory in Washington, DC.

“We have been tracking NOM from day one, and while effective, they do all this secretly and utilizing highly questionable practices,” said Fred Karger, founder of Californians Against Hate. “Maggie and executive director Brian Brown are single handidly fighting same-sex marriage in 11 sates, and now Washington, DC, all by themselves — truly amazing.”

“That is why we have called for investigations in California and Maine into their fund-raising, which is shrouded in mystery. In Maine they refused to disclose the names of thier contributors even after being ordered to do so by Federal Judge D. Brock Hornby and Maine attorney General Janet T. Mills.

Both California and Maine are investigating NOM right now, and the California investigation has included the Mormon Church. It has been ongoing for the past 13 months (FPPC Case # 08/735).”

“Now we need a Congressional investigation of the National Organization for Marriage as they come charging into out nation’s capitol to attempt to undo marriage equality there. They must no longer go unchecked,” demanded Karger.

Read the story about Rep. Chaffetz from the Mormon Church owned Salt Lake City Deseret News:

Chaffetz, family differ on gay marriage

By Lee Davidson

Published: Monday, Dec. 21, 2009 11:32 p.m. MST
SALT LAKE CITY — Gay rights groups are flabbergasted that Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, is leading a charge to block gay marriage in the District of Columbia, since his family has some interesting gay and liberal ties.

After all, his father, John Chaffetz, wrote a complimentary book about a gay couple that competed in the “Amazing Race” reality TV show. And liberal, former Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis (whose wife, Kitty, was once married to Chaffetz’s father) has been helping the young Chaffetz to pass legislation.

So gay groups are questioning in widespread Internet posts why Chaffetz, with such ties, could do such a thing. They wish aloud that he would listen to his more liberal relations, and stop his pledges to try to overturn a D.C. ordinance signed by its mayor last week to allow gay marriage.

Chaffetz told the Deseret News on Monday that such groups should not hold their breath for that.

“I see my position more as a support of traditional marriage than it is an attack on gay marriage. I think I have a core moral belief in traditional marriage, and I’m willing to stand up and stand tall for traditional marriage,” he said.

Although Chaffetz is a freshman, he is the ranking Republican on the House subcommittee that oversees District of Columbia operations. So he said it is part of that job to announce GOP opposition to the new ordinance, and vow to fight it since federal law gives Congress 30 days to overturn any ordinance passed by the D.C. Council.

“It has led to a whole series of very aggressive personal attacks, but go ahead, I don’t care. It doesn’t phase me much,” Chaffetz said. Many of the attacks draw attention to how his father wrote the book “Gay Reality” about the gay couple of Bill Bartek and Joe Baldassare who gained attention as reality show contestants. And attacks point out Chaffetz’s ties to Dukakis.

But Chaffetz explains, “I am the only member of my family who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am a convert.” He joined the church two months after he graduated from Brigham Young University, where he had been recruited as a football placekicker.

Because of that church background, Chaffetz said he is more conservative than many in his extended family, although he said it does include both Republicans and Democrats.

“My younger brother Alex is about as conservative as it gets, other than maybe Attila the Hun,” he joked. “My older half-brother (John Dukakis — who changed his last name from Chaffetz to match that of his famous stepfather, Michael Dukakis) is about as liberal as it gets.”

That doesn’t mean that Chaffetz hasn’t sought out the opinion of his half-brother, a former actor who had roles in such films as “Jaws 2” and in such TV series as “Family Ties” and “Taxi.”

“I showed my brother John a draft of a campaign piece we prepared. And he said, ‘I disagree with everything you say here.’ And I thought, ‘We have success. We must be on to something,'” Chaffetz said.

In contrast, Chaffetz said his father is a “very conservative person,” his book about the gay couple notwithstanding. “I’ve talked to him about some things, but not about this (gay marriage).”

While Chaffetz is not biologically related to Michael Dukakis, Chaffetz said they became well acquainted and spent time together because John Dukakis would spend the school year with Dukakis and John’s mother, Kitty, and the summers with his father and his half-brothers, Jason and Alex, and their mother.

Rep. Chaffetz even headed the Dukakis campaign at BYU in 1988, before his conversions to be a Republican and a Mormon. He said he and Dukakis still keep in close contact, and the former Massachusetts governor has helped him make some Democratic contacts needed to do such things as pass House legislation to ban use of “whole-body imaging” machines at airports.

“One of the interesting phenomena is that Michael Dukakis has been very helpful in opening a lot of doors that wouldn’t have been opened otherwise. Some very liberal Democrats have given me the time of day that wouldn’t normally have done so, particularly some of the people from Massachusetts,” Chaffetz said.

“He (Dukakis) is a passionate believer in good public service, and considers party secondary. He wants to do some things that I could never support, but I respect him,” Chaffetz said. “I talked to him the day before yesterday. We keep in contact.”

But, again, Chaffetz said he believes strongly in defending traditional marriage, and no one should expect differently even if he has some liberal friends and family. “I’m my own guy on this one,” he said.

Still, the Utah Log Cabin Republicans on Monday called for him to change, issuing a statement that it wants him to “get back to tending the issues we sent him to Washington to represent, and stop trying to force others to adhere to his misguided interpretation of what makes a real marriage.”

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