Why Should Gay Marriage Be Legalized Same Sex Marriage?

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Under the bright lights of Russell Sage College in Troy, New York, only a few days before the September 2012 Republican primary, State Senator Roy McDonald was clearly exasperated. Despite his attempts to focus the debate on chronic unemployment, his opponent Kathleen A. Marchione had another agenda. Over the roar of the restless crowd, Marchione persistently questioned McDonald about his controversial vote in favor of the Marriage Equality Act in June 2011. In rebuttal to Marchione’s accusations that his vote to legalize same-sex marriage was motivated by the promise of campaign donations, McDonald explained that he broke from traditional Republican values because he was a “human being that care[d]” and “could have found an easier way to get re-elected” (Kaplan, “Gay Marriage Vote”). In what New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo described as “an act of political courage,” McDonald crossed party lines in June 2011 to set the precedent of marriage equality in New York State (Kaplan and Grynbaum). McDonald’s vote in favor of same-sex marriage shocked his constituents. Known for his conservative values, McDonald was a well-respected Republican from Saratoga County. During his 23-year run as the Town and County Supervisor and the chairman of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors, McDonald’s proudest achievement was eliminating local property taxes for 20 consecutive years. In fact, the county budget he proposed made Saratoga the lowest taxed county in New York State. After building a reputation of reliability and traditionalism in Saratoga, McDonald moved on to state politics with his 2013 Winning Essay: John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest for High School Students election to the state senate in 2008 (“Roy”). As John F. ... ... middle of paper ... ...lity and dignity of the greater public; for this act, his reputation among his conservative constituents was irreversibly damaged. McDonald’s leap of faith in June 2011 came at a steep price. Although his vote in favor of same-sex marriage cost him his reelection to the state senate, it was a worthy sacrifice. In the words of Mayor Bloomberg, McDonald walked away from the state senate with the “satisfaction of knowing for the rest of [his] life [he] stood up and voted [his] conscience” (Kaplan and Grynbaum). McDonald reaffirmed America’s “faith that the people will not simply elect men who will represent their views ably and faithfully, but also elect men who will exercise their conscientious judgment” (Kennedy 223). During his first and last term in the state senate, McDonald achieved a feat most politicians do not accomplish in a lifetime—he embodied true democracy.

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