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This website has repeatedly argued that government shouldn’t be in the business of sanctioning or banning marriage – gay or straight. Such decisions ought to be left to individual congregations … which last time we checked were still subject to the power of the marketplace.

But that’s not stopping lowest common denominator politicians from exploiting this issue … on both extremes of the political spectrum.

In socially conservative South Carolina, though, Democrats are battling each other over the issue – with the party’s only announced candidate for the U.S. Senate publicly calling out its presumed gubernatorial nominee.

Jay Stamper – the only Democrat running for the Senate seat held by liberal “Republican” Lindsey Graham – challenged 2014 gubernatorial candidate and State Senator Vincent Sheheen (D-Camden) to come out in support of gay marriage.

In fact he created an online petition in which voters urged Sheheen to “please reconsider” his opposition to “marriage equality.”

“Imagine for a moment what it’s like to be gay and in high school in South Carolina,” Stamper wrote in the petition. “Maybe you don’t need to imagine. But try to put yourself in the place of an adolescent looking for acceptance but facing disapproval and bigotry from classmates, teachers, even family members. Now imagine that same student in civics class, studying the South Carolina Constitution and learning that even his own state’s laws sanction discrimination against him.”

“With nowhere to turn, facing bullying and pressure to hide who they really are, is it any wonder that gay youth attempt suicide at four times the rate of their heterosexual classmates?” Stamper’s petition continued.

For some reason, Stamper closed his petition shortly after he created it. He also removed a link to the petition from his Facebook page.

Hmmm …

Still, FITS reached out Sheheen’s camp in an effort to get his position on the issue of gay marriage. His campaign hasn’t been especially accommodating to requests from our website, but we’ll let you know in the event we hear anything of substance.