A new television ad campaign running in Michigan and Pennsylvania accuses Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry of failing to preserve "traditional marriage." Former presidential candidate Gary Bauer announced the new ads on Monday as part of an effort to win votes for President Bush. Bauer's group, Americans United to Preserve Marriage, funded the ad buy with $500,000, he said. "Marriage in the United States must be preserved as the union of one man and one woman," Bauer said. "We believe it is important for the American people to know which candidates will defend traditional marriage."
The national gay rights group Human Rights Campaign denounced the ads as another divisive tactic used by antigay conservatives in this election year. "This tears at families with gay loved ones like the Cheneys," said HRC president Cheryl Jacques, referring to Vice President Dick Cheney and his lesbian daughter, Mary. "This ad is nothing but an effort to divide the American people and promote discrimination against some families. President Bush should focus on issues the American people care about most, like jobs, health care costs, and the war in Iraq." According to HRC, the TV ad campaign is the first this year to target Kerry on marriage.