But now these four senators are facing severe backlash from the Republican party, so much so that their vote for gay marriage might have cost all of them their jobs in the next election. And while it's unfortunate that it has to be considered "brave" for a Republican to vote this way, this bravery shouldn't be overlooked by those of us for whom supporting gay marriage has always been an easy and obvious choice.
"You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn't black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing. You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, fuck it, I don't care what you think. I'm trying to do the right thing. I'm tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I'm trying to do the right thing, and that's where I'm going with this."
Roy McDonald knows the "F" word.
The question I pose now is: why do Republicans insist on fighting gay marriage in the face of its inevitability? In twenty years (and possibly sooner than that) preventing gay marriage is going to be as archaic and universally despicable as preventing civil rights for women and Blacks once was. Is it just that Republicans lack the foresight (and hindsight) to analogize these issues? Is it misunderstanding and homophobia? Is it an utterly misplaced reliance on scripture (watch the liberating badass-ery below)? Is it just plain stubbornness?
Remember when Trent Lott, the long-time Republican Senate Majority leader, resigned his leadership position in the wake of his Strom Thurmond comments? Allow me to refresh your memory: at Senator Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party, Lott said,
"I want to say this about my state. When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of him. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either."
So, I want to congratulate the four brave Republicans who all essentially (and at least one literally) said, "Fuck it, let's do what's right." And of course there are other Republicans like New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (dismissively called a RINO by his party -- "Republican In Name Only") who aggressively lobbied in support of gay marriage behind the scenes. But to the social conservative hold-outs, I say: learn your lesson from Trent Lott. Hang up the hairshirt of fighting gay marriage, if for no other reason than so you don't embarrass and disappoint your kids when they ask you how you voted when it was your state's turn.
As a final note, when asked if he feared for his job in the wake of his "yes" vote this weekend, Senator James Alesi said, "I also have to believe that if I'm supporting a significant percentage of my constituency that want this, that I will gain their support even though I'm losing the other." So, I'm appealing to you New Yorkers with even an inkling of Libertarian-leanings: don't forget these guys come election day.
(For more of my ranting on this subject, check out this post, and this one.)
Update: Scott in the comments reminded me of the Log Cabin Republicans, a grassroots resource for small-government Republicans who support gay rights. Visit their site here: Log Cabin Republicans.