Saturday, June 25, 2011

Start Spreading The News

Andrew Sullivan, predictably, says it much better than I could:

The fact that New York State has just become the sixth (plus DC!) to grant gay citizens the civil right to marry is a BFD. I say that having observed and participated in this process for two decades.

It's a BFD because a Republican-led State Senate passed this law. Yes, the partisanship is massively lop-sided, but the conversion of a few Republicans is what will have made this possible. The credit for that goes to one of the most determined, consistent, professional and impassioned campaigns we have ever fought for marriage equality. Going outside traditional Democratic party lobbies to appeal to those on the other side who are open to our arguments was essential. Yes, Tim Gill, take a bow, wherever you are. Bill Smith, you remain my hero. Governor Cuomo, by all accounts was magnificent at the politics and Mayor Bloomberg and critical Republicans and Democrats and all factions and groups in the gay movement - even HRC! - pulled together. That the most passionate opponent was a Democrat and the most powerful were Republicans helps scramble the attempt by the Christianist right to coopt conservatism for their reactionary theology...

... It's a BFD because it also insists on maximal religious liberty for those who conscientiously oppose marriage equality. A gay rights movement that seeks to restrict any religious freedom is not worthy of the name. And it makes me glad that we largely avoided anything that looks like that strategy, and that last-minute negotiations were flexible enough to strengthen the protections for religious groups, churches, mosques, synagogues and the like. The gay rights movement is about expanding the boundaries of human freedom - and that must include religious freedom if it is to mean anything. We have come such a long way from the 1980s when religious groups were always seen as enemies, rather than as potential allies.

It's a BFD because the public leadership of this campaign was heterosexual...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a NYS citizen, this really is a "big deal". I hope it's one that will bring sensible people together on the much more pressing issues facing our state. Budget, pensions, health care.... It took a few Reps to side with the Dems, and the job got done. Now we will see if we tackle the things that actually *affect* us in our everyday lives.


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