Robert Novak

 WASHINGTON -- The social conservative Family Research Council, lobbying for a platform plank backing a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage, is attempting to put a new anti-gay marriage book into the hands of all 4,500 delegates and alternates to the Republican National Convention in New York.

 "Outrage: How Gay Activists and Liberal Judges Are Trashing Democracy to Redefine Marriage" is written by Peter Sprigg, director of the Family Research Council's Center for Marriage and Family Studies. About 60 percent of the hotels housing delegates have agreed to help distribute the book.

 Although the anti-gay marriage amendment has been endorsed by President Bush, many moderate Republicans are not happy about that. It is reported to be in the early platform draft, and social conservatives want to make sure that remains the case.


 Republican members of Congress are furious with Secretary of State Colin Powell for inviting international observers to monitor November's presidential election despite a House-passed bill, pending in the Senate, that would prohibit public funds for such purposes.

 Republican Rep. David Vitter has written Powell a letter of protest. Vitter, running for the Senate from Louisiana, called on State to "rescind the invitation" and "devote its time to diplomacy and pressing events overseas, rather than playing some role in domestic political events."

 Following the 2000 Florida recount, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) sent 10 observers to the 2002 Florida elections and two observers to the 2003 California recall. The Congressional Black Caucus and other Democrats have demanded foreign monitoring of this year's voting.


 European conservatives and libertarians are complaining that they had a much easier time getting credentials for the Democratic National Convention in Boston than for the upcoming Republican meeting in New York.

 An official of Germany's Free Democratic Party (FDP), which advocates free market policies, has been unable to gain access to Madison Square Garden for the GOP convention. He told this column the Democrats were easy to deal with, and the FDP had representatives at the FleetCenter in Boston.

Robert Novak

Robert Novak (1931-2009) was a syndicated columnist and editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report.

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