The gay marriage debate has been a bit messy for party lines, as many Democrats have been quiet on the matter of same-sex unions and many Republicans who feel that families should have the same rights regardless of sexuality have been marginalized — but what seems to be apparent is that regardless of party affiliation, voters are still vacillating when it comes to supporting candidates who have stood up to advocate for gay marriage.
Two such GOPers who took a bold stance supporting gay marriage back when the issue was up for approval in New York State are New York State Senators Roy McDonald and Stephen Saland, among four Republicans who voted in favor allowing the measure to pass — and now the two’s recent primary races have been considered “too close to call,” requiring absentee ballots to determine the winner.
Back in June of 2011, when gay marriage passed in New York, McDonald made national headlines not only for his bold stance for equality, but also his condemnation of partisan politics. Back then, McDonald plainly and beautifully said:
“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, f*ck 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.”
Of the challenges now seen by Republicans who broke party ranks to support gay marriage, opponents of gay marriage like NOM’s Brian Brown say that the message sent by anti-gay voters is clear:
“We are in jubilation over here … I don’t think a Republican Senate incumbent has been defeated [in New York] in probably 40 years. From day one we said any Republican who voted to defend gay marriage would be voting to end their career and we were right. The folks who promised them money, and sold them on the idea that money would win elections were lying through their teeth.”
Despite threats, though, McDonald has no regrets about his gay marriage stance and still believes he is on the right side of history — he said Friday:
“I did what I thought was right. I have no regrets about it.”
Does gay marriage and a politicians stance on the matter influence your vote?