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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Some hopeful news in New York

Here's the beginning of a post from Close Read at The New Yorker .....


Gay Marriage: New York, not North Korea
- Amy Davidson

“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,” New York State Senator Roy McDonald, a Republican from Saratoga, said Tuesday. You hope to get there; McDonald did. He became the thirty-first of sixty-two senators in Albany to say that he would vote for a bill, submitted by Governor Andrew Cuomo, allowing same-sex marriage in our state. McDonald’s statement, as captured by the Daily News, continued,

You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, f— 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.

I do like that; and who wants to be cynical? What, really, could be less cynical than a heartfelt commitment to marriage? The bill is only one senator short now, with a vote scheduled for Friday, and its proponents are optimistic that another senator will have reached the point in his or her life that McDonald has. Some of the pressure McDonald was shaking off came from religious groups. Archbishop Timothy Dolan posted a diatribe against the bill on his blog Tuesday, in which he wrote, “Last time I consulted an atlas, it is clear we are living in New York, in the United States of America—not in China or North Korea.” His point was not that gay marriage is allowed in those places—it is not, though it is in Iowa and five other American states—but that over there “communiqués from the government can dictate the size of families, who lives and who dies, and what the very definition of ‘family’ and ‘marriage’ means.” Is Dolan picturing a marriage altar as a sort of death panel? Or does he just think all that should be left to the church? .......


I hope the bill passes.


Anonymous David Smith said...


The gay-marriage issue has become so politicized and polarized - and any opposition has been so effectively demonized in most of the popular media - that thoughtful open discussion is probably impossible.

Under those conditions, the wiser thing to do might be to wait until the storm passes and the rhetoric cools, but of course that won't happen.


12:10 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

It's a topic that doesn't really allow for mind-changing discussion, I guess, because the two sides have no common ground to stand on.

I feel that I should regularly state where I stand on this, though, so that people won't believe that all Catholics think like Dolan.

12:48 AM  
Anonymous David Smith said...


I imagine I think differently on these issues from you, Crystal (there are many issues here, not just one), but I'm also pretty sure I don't agree with Dolan, who because of his position has to offend as few people as possible while staying in sync with the Church.

Among the many issues clustering loosely around the gay-marriage issue, there are thousands of points of view - far more than just two. My concern is that everyone be heard and respected, but what's happening here - what usually happens in politics, I imagine - is that A demonizes B and B demonizes A and social groups form in the larger society who agree completely with either A or B. That's mob think, and it's not nice, but it seems to be the way people all too readily fall in behind leaders. We're a social species - we want to be liked and belong - and our communitarian action often takes the form of warring groups.


1:48 AM  

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