Friday, March 04, 2011

Do the Right Thing, Sam

A guest post by Paul Griffin, he is a District 19 resident and ran in the 2006 Democratic House primary

I voted for Sam Arora in the 2010 Democratic Primary in District 19. I hope to vote for him again in the future. Sam is clearly a bright, ambitious, young man who can go on to achieve great things in his career and accomplish many policy goals that will help the people of our district, county, and state.

But the events of recent days have been perplexing. Sam has signaled that – despite his campaign promises to support such legislation and in direct opposition to his own co-sponsorship of the bill – he isn’t sure if he will vote for Marriage Equality on the floor of the House of Delegates.

It isn’t often that one gets to watch such a promising young politician take steps to damage his reputation and political future. Sam has clearly done that by even wavering on this issue, but if – in the end – he votes against Marriage Equality he will have committed a trifecta of bad judgment.

He will have flip flopped on a major campaign promise (thus making himself look like nothing more than a cynical politician); he will have voted against his district (always a risky move for a politician); and he will have voted on the wrong side of history (something I believe he will someday regret).

But those reasons are, for the most part, political reasons to vote for Marriage Equality. The better reason to vote for it is because it is the right thing to do.
When I ran for the House of Delegates from District 19 – Sam's district – during the 2006 Democratic Primary, some voters discovered I am part of an inter-faith marriage (I’m Irish Catholic and my wife is Jewish; our kids are – well, nobody’s business . . .). A few people, and only a few, had a problem with that and expressed so. They felt that it was wrong for two people of different faiths to marry. Some said so politely, some not as politely. I brushed it off and tried to forget about it.

Now, I don’t pretend that my very limited experience here compares to what a gay couple probably experiences every single day. But to this day the idea that someone would question our marriage bothers me. Indeed, the very notion that anyone would question the legitimacy of the love and commitment of another couple who wishes to take the public vow of marriage is simply alien to me.

So it is partly based on my own personal experience that I've come to believe that we are long past the time when we should recognize same-sex marriage. In our country, marriage affords certain rights to and benefits on couples, and far be it for any of us to say that certain people of legal age can’t enjoy those rights and benefits with a person they love and with whom they wish to spend the rest of their life.

That is why I am posting this blog – my first ever on this site – and imploring Sam as one of his constituents who voted for him.

Sam: do the right thing. Support Marriage Equality!