Freshman Year, the gay marriage episode: Polis versus Chaffetz

Colorado U.S. Rep. Jared Polis is an openly gay Democrat internet millionaire who fights for gay rights. Utah U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz is a Mormon Republican skin-care professional who is now fighting to revoke the right to gay marry in Washington D.C. The two men co-star in the CNN series “Freshman Year.” The next episode should be good!

Reps. Jared Polis and Jason Chaffetz
Reps. Jared Polis and Jason Chaffetz

The law legalizing same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia was approved by the city council on December 15 and signed into law by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty three days later.

But Washington D.C. is a city without a state, of course, and so a Congressional subcommittee oversees D.C. law. Chaffetz is the ranking Republican on that subcommittee. He has 30 days to work up a veto.

The gay-rights activist group Californians Against Hate is calling attention to the Chaffetz drive to battle the new marriage law. In a release sent out today, the group ties Chaffetz to the larger efforts of the Mormon Church to fight gay marriage, particularly the efforts of the National Organization for Marriage.

NOM famously championed Proposition 8 in California, the ballot initiative there that outlawed gay marriage. NOM similarly was the primary force behind the successful drive to overturn Maine’s gay marriage law last month. Most recently, the organization exerted key pressure to end a move to grant gays the right to marry in New York.

From today’s Californians Against Hate release:

[W]e have called for investigations in California and Maine into [NOM] fund-raising, which is shrouded in mystery. In Maine they refused to disclose the names of their 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…

And below, Chaffetz and Polis on CNN’s “Freshman Year.” About three quarters of the way in to this episode there’s a rich exchange when Polis learns that Chaffetz worked for Nu Skin.

“Well, I’m surprised to learn that Jason worked in skin care. That sounds more gay than anything I’ve ever done in my career.”


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