Friday, March 04, 2011

Lgbt community hit with betrayal in Maryland?

MAJOR UPDATE - Arora will grudgingly support the gay marriage bil. Thanks for the sour persimmons, cousin. Meanwhile, Maggie Gallagher continues to tackily push the "race card."

This is Sam Arora, a Maryland delegate who campaigned on the fact that he would vote for gay marriage.

He knocked on doors, sat down with same-sex families, and accepted donations (a list is here) while expressly saying that he supports marriage equality.

And now after he is in office, he is planning on changing his vote.

Naturally the members of the lgbt community who supported him, who introduced him to their families, who told him their life stories and why this piece of legislation is important are furious.

And some are asking for their donations back.

Now Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage is claiming that lgbt anger is strictly racism because, according to her, the lgbt community is ignoring another delegate who may switch votes.

She also claims that Arora is changing his vote because of, as she puts it, IMMENSE pressure from folks opposed to bringing gay marriage to Maine.

Arora has not given a reason why he is changing his mind. And based on NOM's past actions and statements, folks should take what Gallagher says with a grain of salt - i.e. every word dripping from her mouth is a lie including the words "and" and "the."

However, if the situation with Arora is true, this is a huge setback and betrayal.

Seems to me that if you campaign specifically on an issue and folks - along with their families - sit down and talk with you about how important the issue is, and they get a promise of support from you, then you should follow through with that promise.

It's just basic decency.

Now if Gallagher and company want to mark basic decency as one of the qualities they are willing to step over in pursuit of their goals, that is their prerogative.

However, Mr. Arora should aspire to something better.

This issue is not about racism. It's about lies, broken promises, and betrayals of constituents and their families.

Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post said it best:

The outrage directed at Arora is understandable. As is the sense of betrayal. He raised money from gays and lesbians based on his support for marriage equality. He secured the endorsements of Progressive Maryland and of Equality Maryland because of it. In fact, get a load of what he wrote as an addendum to his questionnaire for Equality Maryland:
I am a former law clerk to Attorney General Doug Gansler. I publicly supported his decision to recognize out-of-state marriage licenses for same-sex couples and immediately put out a release praising his findings. For me, it's simply a matter of equal rights under the law.

If this situation turns out the way it's trending, then NOM and Maggie Gallagher will have a lot to crow about. No doubt the spin will be how Arora "fought with himself" and "fought the slings and arrows of the radical homosexual movement to protect marriage."

I don't think that spin will work this time. There are some situations so ugly, so starkly monstrous that all of the spin in the world can't clean them up.

This looks like one of those times.

Folks, if you are going to write to Arora, Gallagher, or even vent, please be aware that this is one of those situations where Gallagher and company stalk pro-lgbt blogs looking for the ugliest comments they can pull to use against us. Don't let your anger allow you to be played.

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