How one man is fighting for traditional marriage in four states

Published: Thursday, Oct. 11 2012 10:24 a.m. MDT

In this photo made Monday, July 9, 2012 in St. Paul, Minn., Frank Schubert, who was a well-paid consultant, prays his daily rosary before Mass at the St. Paul Cathedral. Schubert dropped his corporate portfolio to focus on the nationwide battle to keep gay marriage illegal and is now managing four statewide campaigns.

Jim Mone, Associated Press

An article in the Wednesday edition of the New York Times profiles Frank Schubert, the “former corporate public relations executive (who) ran the $40 million, come-from-behind push for Proposition 8 in California in 2008.”

“Now,” Erik Eckholm wrote for the Times, “with marriage initiatives on the ballot in Maryland, Minnesota, Washington state and Maine, Mr. Schubert is the chief strategist in all four at once.

“Gay rights leaders despise Mr. Schubert, who has devoted himself to the issue in recent years, for what they call his misleading arguments. They have also learned to fear him for messages that are less openly harsh than those voiced by many other opponents of gay rights: a strategy aimed at reassuring the moderate voters who decide such elections that barring gays and lesbians from marriage does not make them bigots.”

In a July profile of Schubert for the San Francisco Chronicle, Joe Garofoli reported, “Schubert is feared not only because he wins — voters have defeated same-sex marriage measures 32 times, including some campaigns led by him — but because he is able to seed doubt in swing voters with ads that show how legalizing same-sex marriage would affect children. Even if, as a former co-worker said, some ads contain ‘hyperbole.’ ”

When the Minneapolis Star-Tribune wrote about Schubert in August, reporter Baird Helgeson oberved specific details of the tried-and-true strategy Schubert employs to win at the ballot boxes: “Schubert groups' template is simple, yet has proven remarkably effective. He works stealthily, through churches and sympathetic for most of the race, waiting till the end, when he unleashes a blitz of television ads that often feature rosy-cheeked children bounding home to tell their parents they learned in school that ‘a prince can marry a prince.’ ”

Jamshid Ghazi Askar is a graduate of BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School and member of the Utah State Bar. Contact him at jaskar@desnews.com or 801-236-6051.

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