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A gay marriage GOP spat in Virginia

Virginia Republicans are voting today on their candidate to oppose Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), choosing between former FCC lawyer Matthew Berry and Iraq War veteran Patrick Murray. Some conservatives are crying foul at a last-minute assault from Murray, going after Berry -- who is gay -- for his stances on same-sex marriage and the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Local blog RedNova publishes a Murray mailer that plays fairly loose with the facts. "Matthew favors gay marriage in Virginia," says the mailer, along with "Matthew, who has never served in the military, supports change of Don't Ask Don't Tell."

This, along with an e-mail I've excerpted below the fold, accusing Berry of strongly supporting gay marriage. Berry supporters point out that the source for that is a roughly edited interview. The Murray ad version:

I think people should be free to enter into whatever types of relationships they would like. If it were up to me, the state would permit same sex marriage.

The actual version:

My position is the same as former Vice President Cheney’s. I think people should be free to enter into whatever types of relationships they would like. If it were up to me, the state would permit same sex marriage. I respect people who have a different view on that, and I think that should be fought state-by-state by the democratic process.

This district, home to plenty of activist Republicans but far too many Democrats to make it truly competitive, is often, mystifyingly, a hotbed of negative campaigning. In 2008, Ron Paul supporter Amit Singh ran a strong and well-funded campaign before being felled by misleading direct-mail attacks on his libertarian stances and criticism of the Iraq War. I've got serious doubts about how toxic even tacit support for gay marriage would be in a district like this.

gaymarriagemail

By David Weigel  |  June 8, 2010; 11:43 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Election , Gay  
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