Gay Activist Packs Message for Denver

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DENVER - One of the country's wealthiest gay activists is in Denver unveiling his national strategy.

Tim Gill's message is to support pro-gay state lawmakers and eliminate the others.

Click play to listen to Pat Robertson's comments following this CBN News report.

"Every advance in gay rights has been made at the state level," he said. "There is no example of something done at the federal level and then the states said, 'Gosh, we should have done that.'"

Gill not only has a philosophy of political activism--he has the money to back it. The founder of a publishing software giant, he's given millions to gay causes. In 2004, he helped Democrats seize control of the Colorado statehouse for the first time in 30 years. A slew of gay-friendly laws followed.

In 2006, he orchestrated $15 million worth of donations to favored candidates and causes across the country. The payoff: Wins in 50 of 70 targeted campaigns, and power changes in four statehouses.

But despite his success, Gill likes to stay under the radar. He rarely grants interviews or speaks in public.

Gill's speech rallied the crowd here with bold calls for action, asking the caucus to help him flip state legislatures and using spiritual language, saying, "We're in a fight for the soul of the Republican party."

"The Republican party is controlled by a bunch of bigots and the only way the bigots are going to learn is if we take their power away from them," he added. "What is the very most important thing you can do is go back and support those pro-gay state legislators, eliminate the anti-gay state legislators."

Gill urged the delegates to stretch their dollars by giving to pro-gay lawmakers in rural states.

"Just a little bit of money goes a long way. I'll tell you that $500 or $1000 in Wyoming goes a lot farther than $500 or $1000 in LA where it probably doesn't even buy a bottle of wine," he said.

Perhaps even more candidly, he acknowledged some frustration with his inability, so far, to defeat Colorado Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave. Musgrave sponsored the Federal Marriage Amendment.

"There are people I think that are absolutely terrible and no matter how much I spend on them, they're still going to be elected and I'm afraid Marilyn Musgrave might be one of those although we're going to give it another shot this election cycle," he said.

Gill did cite one state where he's working right now: New York. There, as CBN News previously reported, many expect the Democrats to take control of both chambers this fall, paving the way for a gay marriage bill.

But Gill kept quiet about other states, and refused to talk with CBN News.

Gill's speech marks a rare public appearance by the man who has had a major influence not only in crafting a national strategy to advance gay rights--but in providing the funds necessary to make it happen.

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Heather Sells

Heather Sells

CBN News Reporter

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