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Local politics

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Gay-marriage ban energizes church coalition

LOS ANGELES – Emboldened activists want to apply the same formula they used to outlaw same-sex marriage in California to prevent other states from recognizing gay unions and President-elect Barack Obama from expanding the rights of gays and lesbians.

Leaders of the Proposition 8 campaign say an unusual coalition of evangelical Christians, Mormons and Roman Catholics built a majority at the polls Tuesday by harnessing the muscle of churches to a message about what children might learn if the ban failed.

Same-sex marriage bans also won in Arizona and Florida.

But in putting together the victory, the coalition overcame opposition from the state’s political establishment and assumptions about how voters would respond to taking away rights the court granted.

During his campaign, Obama pledged to work for repeal of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which prevents the government from affording benefits to same-sex couples.

He also vowed to reverse the Defense Department policy that prevents openly gay people from serving in the military.

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