Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday's Man: The Men of Marriage Equality

Marriage equality would not have come to The Empire State this year without the valiant efforts of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, pictured above.  Standing next to him, third from the left, is openly gay Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell, who has been fighting hard for this for years.  He is largely responsible for the bill's passage in the Assembly.  He also happens to be Rosie's brother.
Almost hidden in the picture at top, second from the right, is openly gay and openly HIV positive Senator Thomas Duane, who has been tireless in his efforts to bring marriage to New York.  He has also championed a host of causes including HIV/AIDS funding and employment nondiscrimination:

Then there are the four Republicans who broke ranks with their party, enabling the bill to pass in the GOP-controlled Senate.  They are Sen. Mark Grisanti:

 Sen. Stephen Saland:
Sen. James Alesi:
Sen. Alesi had this to say to The Village Voice:

"I am 63 years old, and I have no children, so I won't have any grandchildren. But I do have family. I have nieces and nephews and grand-nieces and nephews. I don't know what they'll think. But I do know that as a result of the collective efforts here, they'll grow up in a world that has a broader vision of human freedom."

And Sen. Roy McDonald:
Sen. McDonald had this to say:

"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," McDonald, 64, told reporters.

"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."

These four Republicans have broken the ice and made it easier for others in their party to vote for equality and begin the process of putting this sad Rovian, gay bashing chapter behind them.  Look for the haters to get desperate, like cornered animals, now that the realization is sinking in that they can't even rely on the Republicans anymore.  Without the GOP, they have nothing and no one.  This is all certainly far from over, and God knows they can still rely on the Republicans in Texas, but the writing is clearly on the wall.