ST. CHARLES – The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) stated their intention Friday to target Rep. Anne Zerr with mailers and phone calls just a little over a week before the Aug. 2 primary.
NOM said last month they would focus on keeping the three Republicans from the Emerging Issues Committee that voted against SJR 39 from retaining public office. SJR 39, the religious liberties bill that many individuals and businesses feared could lead to discrimination against the LGBT community.
Of the three Republicans that voted against the legislation; Zerr, Rep. Caleb Rowden, and Rep. Jim Hansen; only Zerr and Rowden have opponents this election cycle, and only Zerr has a primary against a Republican who says he would vote in favor of such legislation.
Thus, she will face the brunt of NOM’s attacks for now.
“Anne Zerr has subjected supporters of marriage, Christians and people of faith to punishment and persecution for standing true to their beliefs,” said NOM President Brian Brown in a statement. “She has sided with LGBT extremists who want to punish people of faith for supporting marriage and use the full power of government to persecute them. Zerr has subjected churches, pastors, religious charities and schools, individuals and small businesses to lawsuits, fines, the loss of their livelihoods and the ruin of their reputations.
“We urge voters to defeat her.”
One of the people looking to defeat her is the author of SJR 39, Sen. Bob Onder. Onder has already been on the attack by endorsing small business owner Bill Eigel, Zerr’s largest opponent in the race for the 23rd Senate District seat.
Zerr said during the committee hearing of what she has called a “flawed bill” that while she supported religious liberty, she felt the bill as written would do too much to discriminate against the LGBT community and feared that would have repercussions in the business community.
“I’m not convinced this bill, as it is, doesn’t take away some of the rights of others,” she said in April.
The organization also indicated that Hansen and Rowden, also Republicans who voted in opposition of SJR39 in committee, would face attack in the future.