2013 Winning Essay By Jamie Baer

By Jamie Baer Homestead Highschool Fort Wayne, Indiana

Beneath the bright lights of Russell Sage university in Troy, nyc, just a days that are few the September 2012 Republican primary, State Senator Roy McDonald ended up being obviously exasperated. Despite their tries to concentrate the debate on chronic jobless, their opponent Kathleen A. Marchione had another agenda. Within the roar of this crowd that is restless Marchione persistently questioned McDonald about their controversial vote and only the Marriage Equality Act in June 2011. In rebuttal to Marchione’s accusations that their vote to legalize same-sex wedding ended up being motivated because of the vow of campaign contributions, McDonald explained because he was a “human being that cared” and “could have found an easier way to get re-elected” (Kaplan, “Gay Marriage Vote”) that he broke from traditional Republican values. With what nyc Governor Andrew M. Cuomo referred to as “an work of governmental courage, ” McDonald crossed celebration lines in June 2011 to create the precedent of wedding equality in brand brand New York State (Kaplan and Grynbaum).

McDonald’s vote and only same-sex wedding surprised their constituents. Recognized for their conservative values, McDonald had been A republican that is well-respected from County. During their 23-year run because the Town and County Supervisor plus the president associated with Saratoga County Board of Supervisors, McDonald’s proudest accomplishment ended up being eliminating neighborhood property fees for 20 consecutive years. In reality, the county spending plan he proposed made Saratoga the cheapest taxed county in brand new York State. After creating a standing of dependability and traditionalism in Saratoga, McDonald moved on to mention politics along with his election towards the continuing state senate in 2008 (“Roy”). As John F. Kennedy asserts in Profiles in Courage, one’s courageous potential is opportunity that is“an in the course of time is presented to us all” (Kennedy tattoo porn 225). The Marriage Equality Act delivered McDonald the chance to raise himself from a forgettable official up to a nonconformist that is bold.

McDonald’s part within the passage through of the Marriage Equality Act ended up being groundbreaking. This new York State legislature had been the very first chamber with a Republican bulk to accept same-sex wedding (Kaplan, “Results for G.O.P. ”). McDonald ended up being certainly one of just four Republican senators who voted for the Marriage Equality Act, making ny the sixth state allowing marriage that is same-sex. Impacting significantly more than 42,000 couples that are same-sex 14,000 young ones, the legislation provided same-sex partners could get wedding licenses and get the legal rights, advantages, and defenses of maried people (“Know”). Gay-rights advocates rejoiced the passing of the work, including Governor Cuomo whom applauded McDonald for taking a stand “for equality, as well as for a populace long victimized” (Kaplan, “Cuomo Backs Republican”). The opponents of the act were outraged (Nagle 5) although the 777,000 same-sex couples living in the United States and other gay-rights supporters celebrated the first Republican-leaning state to sanction same-sex marriage.

The backlash against McDonald along with other supporters of this Marriage Equality Act started on July 25, 2011, with all the very first appropriate challenge towards the law that is new. Leaders of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, an evangelical church team, asked the courts to prevent same-sex marriages and declare the a huge selection of same-sex marriages done because the legislation took impact to be void. The conservative group reported that the Senate Republicans, including McDonald, involved with unlawful conferences with ny Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo where the Senators received contributions for switching to guide what the law states (Precious). Inspite of the increasing force from conservative groups, McDonald stated which he will never be sorry for their vote regardless of if it finished their governmental profession (Kaplan, “Gay Marriage Vote”). He maintained the “faith that their program had been the most useful one” and therefore defended their governmental courage (Kennedy 219).

As well as certain conservative teams such as the New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, most of the US public is in opposition to same-sex wedding. In accordance with a study carried out in 2003 by the Pew Research Center for the individuals associated with Press, 59 % of Us citizens oppose permitting gays and lesbians to marry legally (“Public”). In a 2004 National Election research survey, 75 per cent of participants consented that there ought to be more focus on conventional household ties and values that are religiousRimmerman and Wilcox 221). Overall, Republicans identify with all the old-fashioned and biblical concept of wedding a lot more than Democrats. In reality, just 23 per cent of Republicans supported legalizing homosexual wedding in a 2012 CNN/ORC Overseas poll (Reinhard). Consequently, the condemnation of McDonald’s vote regarding the Marriage Equality Act among their Republican constituents could have now been anticipated; McDonald cast their vote understanding the danger it posed to their governmental job.

McDonald discovered the consequence that is true of vote on September 13, 2012, when their opponent Marchione defeated him into the Republican primary by about 122 votes (Kaplan, “Votes Aren’t All Tallied”). Marchione credited her success to your proven fact that “people felt betrayed” by McDonald’s recommendation associated with the Marriage Equality Act. She along with her supporters accused McDonald of deceiving their constituents by changing their place on same-sex wedding, that he’d compared in past times. Nonetheless, McDonald explained which he too thinks in old-fashioned wedding and had not been interested in their “15 moments of fame” by casting the controversial vote. Instead, he had been protecting their “party of Abraham Lincoln, ” by which “everybody’s included” (Kaplan, “Gay Marriage Vote”). Within the terms of Kennedy, McDonald had been significantly more than a “robot dutifully recording the views of constituents” or even a “time- server talented just in predicting and following tides of general general general public belief” (Kennedy 18). He switched their place on same-sex wedding to safeguard the equality and dignity associated with the greater public; because of this work, their reputation among their conservative constituents had been irreversibly damaged.

McDonald’s jump of faith in June 2011 arrived at a price that is steep. Although their vote in support of same-sex wedding are priced at him their reelection towards the state senate, it had been a worthy sacrifice. Into the terms of Mayor Bloomberg, McDonald strolled far from their state senate utilizing the “satisfaction of once you understand for the remainder of his life he endured up and voted his conscience” (Kaplan and Grynbaum). McDonald reaffirmed America’s “faith that the individuals will likely not simply elect guys who can express their views ably and faithfully, but in addition elect guys who can exercise their conscientious judgment” (Kennedy 223). During their very first and final term into the state senate, McDonald attained a feat many politicians don’t achieve in a lifetime—he embodied true democracy.


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Kaplan, Thomas. “Cuomo Backs Republican Whom Lost Main After Vote for Gay Marriage. ” The Brand New York Circumstances. The Brand New York Circumstances Business, 26 2012 september. Internet. 22 Oct. 2012.

—. “Gay Marriage Vote Rises as Test in Upstate G.O.P. Race. ” The brand new York circumstances. The Brand New York Instances Business, 11 Sept. 2012. Web. 30 Oct. 2012.

—. “Results for G.O.P. Backers of Gay Marriage: Two Victories and, it seems, a Loss. ” The Latest York Days. The Newest York Circumstances Business, 24 Sept. 2012. Online. 23 Oct. 2012.

—. “Votes Aren’t All Tallied, but Conclusions are Drawn. ” The Latest York Circumstances. The Latest York Instances Business, 14 Sept. 2012. Internet. 27 Oct. 2012.

Kennedy, John F. Profiles in Courage. Nyc: Harper Collins Publishers, 2003. Print. “Know Your Rights: faqs about New York’s Marriage Equality Act (2011). ” NYCLU. Ny Civil Liberties Union, 2011. Web. 1 Nov. 2012.

Nagle, Jeanne. Exact Exact Same Intercourse Wedding: The Debate. Ny: Rosen Publishing, 2010. Print.

Precious, Tom. “Lawsuit Claims State Senate Broke Rules in Passing Gay-Marriage Bill. ” The Buffalo Information. McClatchy-Tribune Ideas Services, 25 Jul. 2012. Web. 5 Nov. 2012.

“Public viewpoint on Gay Marriage and Civil Unions, 2003. ” The United states Family: showing a Changing country (2005): letter. Pag. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 4 Nov. 2012.

Reinhard, Beth. “Gay Rights additionally the GOP Platform. ” Nationwide Journal (2012): letter. Pag. Web. 4 Nov. 2012.

Rimmerman, Craig A. And Clyde Wilcox. The Politics of Same-Sex Marriage. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2007. Print.

“Roy McDonald. ” State Directory (2011): letter. Pag. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 5 Nov. 2012.

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