New York’s lawmakers last night voted to legalise same sex marriage, making it the sixth and largest state in America to do so. The image of the Empire State Building, illuminated in rainbow colours to celebrate the fortuitously timed Gay Pride this weekend, went viral.
I got a lot of hate mail this week after I was asked to appear on Fox News and debate the topic of Michele Bachmann and her anti-gay stance. I said that I was taught intolerance equals ignorance and that the GOP, the US and the free world as a whole, deserves a Republican Presidential candidate who was intelligent. Bachmann, I argued, was obviously not that.
The vitriolic reaction I got shows that the US national gay-rights movement still has a long way to go, although as the New York Times pointed out today it has been given “new momentum from the state where it was born”. The eloquence with which Mayor Bloomberg has spoken on the topic and the way Governor Cuomo and Governor Paterson have led on the issue, is to be admired.
We learned last weekend that Obama, previously against same sex marriage (although far more “gay friendly” than Bachmann et al – let us recall what he did for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”) had views that were “evolving” on this specific issue. There can be no doubt he had an eye on New York with this news, but it would seem that his stance is very much reflected by America as a whole. Latest research indicates that 53% of Americans support same sex marriage and that the number is ever increasing.
Most candidates for the GOP nomination for 2012, including of course our Ms Bachmann, are against it. They are behind the times. The marriage issue is likely to grow, not diminish, as a national talking point, whether conservatives like it or not.
For me, on this issue – and don’t get me wrong, there are other topics where of course many Republicans have a valid point, it comes down to this old saying:
“A Conservative is a politician who wants to keep what the liberals fought for a generation ago”.
There will be a time, where in America, there will be the universal ability to marry for consenting adults. I hope that it is sooner in my lifetime than later.
Now, isn’t it about time, Saudi Arabia, to allow women to drive?