Former top staffer of gay arch-enemy Musgrave signs Prop 8 brief in support of gay marriage

UPDATE:  Okay, so the story is that it is Marilyn Musgrave’s former district director – the man who headed her congressional office in Colorado – who signed on to the brief, not Musgrave herself, which is still a big deal since it’s the devil’s right-hand who signed on.  I’ve updated my story below accordingly
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In a surprising development that puts President Obama’s apparent ambivalence about filing a Prop 8 brief in an increasingly untenable context – the former local office director for GOP Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO), the chief sponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment during her time in the US House (the FMA would add language to the US Constitution banning gay marriage), the American Conservative Union’s “most conservative member,” has just signed onto the Republican legal brief in support of gay marriage and in opposition to Prop 8.

Marilyn Musgrave had a 100% rating from the Concerned Women for America.  100% rating from the Christian Coalition.  100% rating from the Eagle Forum.  She was rated the most conservative member of Congress by the American Conservative Union in 2006.

A lot of us (especially gay philanthropist Tim Gill) spent a lot of time and money trying to kick Musgrave out of office.  And they finally did.  She was horrible.  The woman was evil incarnate on gay rights issues.   She was the worst of the worst.  She was the LEAD SPONSOR OF THE ANTI-GAY CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.  It doesn’t get any worse than Marilyn Musgrave.

Former GOP House Member Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO), likely the most anti-gay member of the entire US House during her term in office.

Former GOP House Member Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO), likely the most anti-gay member of the entire US House during her term in office.

And now her top congressional staffer in the state is actively supporting gay marriage, when our President isn’t quite sure if he wants to as well.

From our earlier posts on Musgrave….

Musgrave is one of the worst, if not the worst, anti-gay right wing Republican. So much can be written about Musgrave’s obsession with the gays. My “favorite” is this pronouncement in 2006:

Musgrave declared that gay marriage “is the most important issue that we face today.” She told the audience that when you’re in a cultural war like this, you have to respond with equal and hopefully greater force if you want to win,” and warned that the “future is grim” if gay marriage is not banned.

Yes, she did. Musgrave was the lead sponsor of the anti-gay constitutional amendment for several sessions and is on the bill again this year. One of the best lines ever about Musgrave comes from McJoan at DailyKos:

For those who haven’t been following her career, she’s as wingnutty as it gets.

Here’s Musgrave on gay marriage in 2006:

“If we have gay marriage, our religious liberties are gone… this battle is the most important issue that we face today.” – Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO-04), at the Family Research Council conference, September 29, 2006

I don’t know how the Obama administration doesn’t file a Prop 8 brief before tomorrow’s deadline, in view of all the Republicans who have put their necks out in favor of equality.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • ConfusedinCO

    you haven’t included Musgrave’s staffer’s name – are you talking about BJ Nikkel? If so – that’s a woman.

  • DenKen

    former Rep B J Nikkel is a woman by the way. A simple google of her name would have shown this. Last year Nikkel was the lone GOP vote that got a civil union bill to the main floor of the legislature. However, once there, the Rethugs, who controlled the house, killed it in in a really slimy maneuver. As a result there was a huge turnover in the house and the Dems now have a 6 vote majority.

    Trust me: I’ve followed Musgrave for years, being a gay man in Colorado, and this extremist (Musgrave) will NEVER…NEVER support gay marriage. She’s a Christianist of the worst kind. When I read the Times piece I thought to myself: this can’t possibly be right…and it wasn’t.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Here’s what I want to know: How can those who are either gay or in favor of LGBT civil rights ever work for these raging frothy-mouthed homophobes?

    I mean, at this point in the GOP, it’s practically every gay Republican or moderate GOPer pretending to be wingnutty so they don’t get wished out into the cornfield. How do they live with themselves?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Or they realize that The Supreme Court is going to Hail Mary to the states and that Repubs will seem to be on the side of history, while silently celebrating the bigotry they have always counted on to be firmly established.

  • judybrowni

    President Obama again dropping the ball and allowing the Republicans to get a touchdown on an issue the Democrats should be scoring on.

  • http://twitter.com/WTHella Tornado

    “I’m very befuddled by this story,” Musgrave told FOX31 Denver. “There’s absolutely no truth to that. I’m reading it thinking, ‘what in the world?’ “I wasn’t even aware of it. I have not changed my position. I’m trying to imagine where anyone would get that information and I can’t figure it out.”

    “Stolberg told FOX31 that Musgrave’s name was actually on the brief she was shown for the story.
    “I got my information from those collecting the signatures,” she told FOX31 Denver.

    Stolberg told FOX31 that she called Musgrave to personally apologize for the error, which occurred because Musgrave’s former district director, former state Rep. B.J. Nikkel, signed the brief and her name and lengthy title pushed her affiliation with Musgrave onto a second line so that Musgrave’s name appeared by itself.

    Nikkel, who did not run for reelection last year after her seat was re-drawn, became the first Republican to vote in favor of a civil unions bill last May and has become a strong advocate for LGBT rights.”

    http://kdvr.com/2013/02/27/marilyn-musgrave-signs-gop-brief-in-support-gay-marriage/

  • Naja pallida

    The only conclusion I can come to is that they suddenly realized there’s money in it.

  • nicho

    I’m suspicious of the whole change of heart by Republicans — not just Musgrave. Something stinks here.

  • nicho

    All the more proof that there is something afoot — and even the GOP is muddled on this sudden change of heart. I’d love to know what’s behind this.

  • Badgerite

    I would agree with her that this is an important issue because we are NOT a Christian nation. We are a Democratic Nation with people of many religions and faiths. The freedom of religion enshrined in the First Amendment does not allow for one religion or ANY religion to impose its beliefs on the rest of the country via its civic laws. We arrive at those laws and those laws receive legitimacy from something other than the Bible. Therefore, they must come up with something other than ‘our religious beliefs’ or ‘the Bible says’ to justify singling out a percentage of the population for denial of a fundamental right that they feel themselves entitled to. And frankly, I am always baffled by the fact that with all of the terrible, horrendous conditions that exist in the world at home and elsewhere, they focus in on trying to hold back something that by any objective observation, would be a positive good. If that is the purpose of their ‘purpose driven ‘ lives, they need a new purpose.

  • nicho

    No. Mary Whitaker Bono Baxley Mack is a consummate opportunist — some would say gold digger. Her only claim to fame is that she is a former waitress who has married a succession of millionaires. One of them skied into a tree while he was a sitting Congressman — and she was given his seat, which she kept for seven terms due to massive infusions of corporate cash and the Democrats’ inability to field a worthwhile candidate. That ended last November. Despite having a large gay population concentration in her district, she has never been a supporter of gay rights.

    As far as supporting a family member, that is typical GOP. You support your own family members, but fuck over everyone else.

  • douglas01

    I want to hear Musgrave say in her own words that she now supports marriage equality. Her signature on some brief or letter is NOT enough for me. I want to hear her say it and then explain why she changed her mind. Call me suspicious of news like this.

  • http://twitter.com/nomoremister Steve M.

    If you go to Right Wing Watch, the coverage of Musgrave as late as last year suggests she hasn’t changed her thinking one iota. So I believe her denial.

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/category/people/marilyn-musgrave

  • S1AMER

    Mack, to her credit, has apparently been outstanding in supporting her step-son through his transition. Perhaps that has helped enlighten her in other ways.

  • FLL

    The NYT corrected its original story (link here):

    This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

    Correction: February 27, 2013

    An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that former Representative Marilyn Musgrave, Republican of Colorado, had signed on to the brief. The brief was signed by her district director [former state Rep. B.J. Nikkel], for himself.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Or rather, Musgrave is now denying the NYT story. We need to hear why the NYT thought she signed on. She may have gotten obliterated by rel right and changed mind.

  • Joe
  • nicho

    Add to that Mary Bono Mack (R-Worthless) who was opposed to same-sex marriage — until now.

    Something very weird is going on with all these formerly anti-gay Republicans all of a sudden having a change of heart. I can’t imagine what it is, but just remember that in politics, nothing is as it seems.

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