California’s Ad Wars Heat Up As Republicans Come Out Against 8

Hoping to sway the women’s vote in California, pro-gay group Republicans Against 8 today released an ad highlighting the GOP’s commitment to equality throughout history.

The commercial, called “Freedom Is A Republican Value,” focusses on President Nixon’s fight for athletic equality on universities and Reagan’s appointment of Sandra Day O’Connor, the commercial asserts the Republican party has always dedicated itself to equal access.

Says the soothing, motherly – yet young! – narrator:

The Republican party has always stood for freedom. Not taking it way. It took Republicans to grant women the right to vote. It took a Republican to give women equal access in college athletics. It took a Republican to defend the rights of California’s teachers. It took a Republican to put the first woman on the United States Supreme Court. And it will take a Republican to put a woman in the White House. The Republican Party stands Party of freedom, not taking it away. Join Arnold Schwarzenegger [and Mary Cheney!] and Republicans against 8 to defend freedom for all Californians. On November 4th, vote ‘No’ on 8.

The “rights of California’s teachers” refers to then-Governor Ronald Reagan’s “no” vote on the Briggs Initiative, which would have banned gays from teaching in the state’s public schools. It’s worth mentioning that Nixon was regarded as the nation’s least honest president – until the current Republican leader, of course.

Of the ad, which comes out the same day the “Yes on 8” folk released their first ad, spokesman Scott Schmidt remarks: “Just a Century ago, women had fewer rights than gays and lesbians
have today. It took Republican leadership to make progress in expanding rights for women. Members of our party should not turn their backs on that Grand Old legacy of promoting fairness and freedom.”

The woman in the White House bit strikes us as particularly interesting. Republicans Against 8 are, of course, referring to Sarah Palin, John McCain’s running mate. Will pro-gay women be swayed by an avowed anti-gay leader who would love nothing more than to prohibit abortions?