He was born at a U.S. Air Force base to a military doctor in West Germany, but grew up in Sacramento, Calif. He's the oldest of eight children. One sibling, a sister, is openly gay.

Schubert declined to talk about her, or how she and her children might view his work.

"It is obviously a tough issue with our family, as it is with many families," he said. "I love my sister very much."

Schubert has two children from his first marriage, which was annulled after seven years. He remarried and has been with his wife for 16 years. He has a stepson.

A pivotal moment came in 2008 when he was tapped to run a California campaign against same-sex marriage.

"I hadn't really thought about marriage as a public policy matter," Schubert said. "The more I got into it, my feelings and my faith deepened."

Over the summer, he split from his old political consulting firm, Schubert-Flint Public Relations, and launched Mission Public Affairs, a group that he says will focus on faith-based activism.

Schubert's detractors are critical of the money he makes from his work. He says his firm collects at least $10,000 a month per campaign. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of media buys are arranged by the company, work that typically generates a commission.

Madaleno said Schubert is part of an "anti-gay industrial complex" that is trying to "create fear about what our families do to society."

"It is so disheartening to think there are people who are out there willing to make a living out of depriving my family of equal status under the law," Madaleno said.

Schubert dismisses the criticism, saying he made more money before he decided to work on religious causes.

"I'm going to be fine one way or another," Schubert said. "The people who work on the other side make money, too. Do they have the same moral outrage to their political consultants making money?"

A casual look around the country reveals Schubert's imprint. Versions of his television ads that went up Monday in Maryland are also airing in Minnesota and Maine. A narrator says marriage as an institution has been around for thousands of years and that children "do best" when reared by their married mom and dad.

The commercials are said to be based on two studies showing that children thrive when brought up in a household headed by married men and women, but neither study speaks directly to the ad's claims. One did not consider data about children raised in homes headed by same-sex couples. The other looked at the impact on adult children of parents who had homosexual relationships at some point in their lives, but not necessarily for an extended period while rearing children.

Schubert says he's merely trying to help people see that marriage as traditionally defined serves a public good and is worthy of preservation.

In a strategy session, he urged black religious leaders in Maryland who oppose Question 6 to speak firmly for their beliefs despite recent support for same-sex marriage by President Barack Obama and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

"Our opponents have targeted black voters for a misinformation campaign to somehow convince people that voting for gay marriage is OK as an African-American Christian," Schubert said. "For African-American pastors, I would ask you to be bold and challenge this wrongheaded idea."



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