A number of old-fashioned Republican conservatives decided Friday night they would be contradicting their own beliefs in the American Constitution if they voted to deny fellow citizens the same rights of marriage they enjoy themselves – for any reason. The issue turned on gender identity. The decision was made as it should be – on the virtues and value of our Constitution.
The right-wing Conservative Party of New York State, activists from many religions who felt their beliefs take precedence over civil law, Tea Party activists of one or another stripe all tried to turn those Republicans away from acting in concert with Democrats who supported this bill. They failed.
Progressives, Democrats, LGBT activists and civil libertarians, who have toiled for years to bring this measure to pass in a state that has a long history of democracy and struggles for equal rights – won their case. They have prevailed.
Good for you, New York. And special kudos to those Republicans who turned away from the mean-spirited reactionaries and bigots who have captured so much of that Party throughout the United States. I write often about traditional American conservatives. Their history has affected the ethics of my family – and my extended family – throughout my life. Honesty, rejection of hypocrisy, care for the natural wonders of this planet, a willingness to understand and seek understanding in the joys of education, a fair chance at a good life for all – are what I was raised with.
Many in that extended family have walked away from what the Republican Party has become in these last ten years. I’d be the last to suggest there’s a qualitative change among today’s Republicans – outside of the states that never left those values in the first place.
Good for you, New York.