2013 Winning Essay By Jamie Baer

By Jamie Baer Homestead Twelfth Grade Fort Wayne, Indiana

Beneath the bright lights of Russell Sage university in Troy, nyc, merely a days that are few the September 2012 Republican primary, State Senator Roy McDonald ended up being demonstrably exasperated. Despite their tries to concentrate the debate on chronic jobless, their opponent Kathleen A. Marchione had another agenda. On the roar for the restless audience, 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 had been inspired because of the vow of campaign donations, 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. In just what ny 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 brand New York State (Kaplan and Grynbaum).

McDonald’s vote in support of same-sex wedding surprised their constituents. Understood for their conservative values, McDonald had been A republican that is well-respected from County. During their 23-year run due to the fact Town and County Supervisor additionally the president for the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors, McDonald’s proudest success had been eliminating property that is local for 20 consecutive years. In reality, the county spending plan he proposed made Saratoga the best taxed county in brand new York State. After creating a trustworthiness of dependability and traditionalism in Saratoga, McDonald managed to move on to state 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 “an possibility that ultimately is presented to us all” (Kennedy 225). The Marriage Equality Act provided McDonald the chance to raise himself from the forgettable official to a nonconformist that is bold.

McDonald’s part when you look at the passage through of the Marriage Equality Act ended up being groundbreaking. This new York State legislature ended up being 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 when it comes to Marriage Equality Act, making ny the sixth state allowing marriage that is same-sex. Impacting a lot more than 42,000 couples that are same-sex 14,000 kids, the legislation so long as same-sex partners could get wedding licenses and find the liberties, advantages, and defenses of maried people (“Know”). Gay-rights advocates rejoiced the passage through of the work, including Governor Cuomo who applauded McDonald for standing “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 as well as other supporters of this Marriage Equality Act started on July 25, 2011, aided by the very first appropriate challenge to your law that is new. Leaders of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, a church that is evangelical, 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 team advertised that the Senate Republicans, including McDonald, involved with unlawful conferences with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo when the Senators received contributions for switching to guide what the law states (Precious). Regardless of the rising stress from conservative teams, McDonald stated which he wouldn’t normally be sorry for their vote even in the event it finished their governmental job (Kaplan, “Gay wedding Vote”). He maintained the “faith that their program had been the one” that is best and so defended their governmental courage (Kennedy 219).

The majority of the American public is opposed to same-sex marriage in addition to specific conservative groups like the New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms. In accordance with a study carried out in 2003 because of the Pew Research Center for anyone associated with the Press, 59 per cent of Us citizens oppose permitting gays and lesbians to marry legally (“Public”). In a 2004 National Election research survey, 75 % of participants consented that there must be more focus on conventional household ties and values that are religiousRimmerman and Wilcox 221). Overall, Republicans identify with all the old-fashioned and definition that is biblical of significantly 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 constituents that are republican have already been anticipated; McDonald cast their vote once you understand the danger it posed to their governmental job.

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

McDonald’s jump of faith in June 2011 arrived at a high cost. Although their vote in support of same-sex wedding are priced at him their reelection into the state senate, it absolutely was a worthy sacrifice. Within the terms of Mayor Bloomberg, McDonald moved from the 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 folks will likely not simply elect guys who can express their views ably and faithfully, but in addition elect guys that will work out their conscientious judgment” (Kennedy 223). During their very first and last 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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