Gay rights groups are blasting a top Georgia Republican for some comments she made in a local newspaper on same-sex marriage.
In a recent article in the Marietta Daily Journal, Sue Everhart, chairwoman of the Georgia GOP, said same-sex marriage could lead to straight people posing as gays and lesbians and getting married so they can collect the healthcare benefits of their friends.
"I just see so much abuse in this, it's unreal. I believe a husband and a wife should be a man and a woman, the benefits should be for a man and a woman," Everhart said. "There is no way that this is about equality. To me, it's all about a free ride."
CBS Atlanta called Everhart at work and what was listed as her home telephone number and stopped by her office, but she did not respond to requests for an interview.
Jamie Ensley, president of the Georgia Log Cabin Republicans, a major voice for gay conservatives, said Everhart's comments are out of step with much of the rest of the country, even with some in her own party who are now accepting same-sex marriage.
"I think that kind of talk is nuttier than a pecan-pistachio-peanut butter sandwich. It's just ridiculous," Ensley said.
Ensley complained that Everhart's remarks could damage the Republican Party as it tries to repair its national image after very public missteps on abortion and immigration that many observers believe cost the GOP the presidential election.
"The Republican party will continue to lose national elections until they come to grips with mainstream America," Ensley said.
Tim Cairl, chairman of the Atlanta Stonewall Democrats - a liberal gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgender group - called Everhart's remarks ridiculous.
"I think she has been watching too many Adam Sandler movies," Cairl said. "You would expect political leaders to see it as a time to move forward, move past this area of injustice. The GOP missed an important opportunity here," Cairl said.
Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Monday, September 1 2014 11:00 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:00:16 GMT
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