By Jamie Baer Homestead Twelfth Grade Fort Wayne, Indiana

Beneath the bright lights of Russell Sage university in Troy, ny, 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. Throughout the roar regarding the 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 marriage ended up being inspired 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. In what nyc Governor Andrew M. Cuomo referred to as “an work of governmental courage, ” McDonald crossed celebration lines in June 2011 setting the precedent of wedding equality in brand New York State (Kaplan and Grynbaum).

McDonald’s vote and only same-sex marriage surprised their constituents. Understood for their conservative values, McDonald had been a well-respected republican from saratoga County. During their 23-year run given that Town and County Supervisor additionally the president for the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors, McDonald’s proudest success ended up being eliminating property that is local for 20 consecutive years. The lowest taxed county in New York State in fact, the county budget he proposed made Saratoga. After creating a trustworthiness of dependability and traditionalism in Saratoga, McDonald managed to move on to state politics together with election into the continuing state senate in 2008 (“Roy”). As John F. Kennedy asserts in Profiles in Courage, one’s courageous potential is “an possibility that in the course of time is presented to us all” (Kennedy 225). The Marriage Equality Act offered McDonald the chance to raise himself from a forgettable official to a nonconformist that is bold.

McDonald’s part into the passage through of the Marriage Equality Act ended up being groundbreaking. The brand 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 had been certainly one of just four Republican senators who voted for the Marriage Equality Act, making ny the sixth state to permit marriage that is same-sex. Impacting a lot more than 42,000 same-sex couples increasing 14,000 kids, the legislation so long as same-sex partners could get wedding licenses and get the legal rights, advantages, and defenses of maried people (“Know”). Gay-rights advocates rejoiced the passage through of the work, including Governor Cuomo whom applauded McDonald for standing up “for equality, as well as a populace long victimized” (Kaplan, “Cuomo Backs Republican”). Even though 777,000 same-sex partners located in the usa along with other gay-rights supporters celebrated the very first Republican-leaning state to sanction same-sex wedding, the opponents for the act had been outraged (Nagle 5).

The backlash against McDonald as well as other supporters for the Marriage Equality Act started on July 25, 2011, aided by the very very first appropriate challenge to your brand new legislation. 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 team stated 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 stress from conservative teams, McDonald stated if it ended his political career (Kaplan, “Gay Marriage Vote”) that he would not regret his vote even. He maintained the “faith that their program ended up being the right one” and therefore defended their governmental courage (Kennedy 219).

As well as certain conservative groups such as the New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, a lot of the US public is in opposition to same-sex wedding. Based on a study carried out in 2003 because of the Pew Research Center for the folks for the Press, 59 % of Us citizens oppose permitting gays and lesbians to marry legally (“Public”). In a 2004 National Election research survey, 75 % of respondents consented that there must be more increased exposure of traditional household ties and spiritual values (Rimmerman and Wilcox 221). Overall, Republicans identify with all the conventional and biblical concept of wedding 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 Republican constituents could have already been anticipated; McDonald cast their vote understanding the hazard it posed to their political profession.

McDonald discovered the real result of their vote on September 13, 2012, whenever their opponent Marchione defeated him when you look at the Republican primary by around 122 votes (Kaplan, “Votes Aren’t All Tallied”). Marchione credited her success towards the undeniable fact that “people felt betrayed” by McDonald’s recommendation for 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 into the past. Nonetheless, McDonald explained which he too thinks in old-fashioned wedding and wasn’t trying to find their “15 moments of fame” by casting the vote that is controversial. Instead, he had been protecting their “party of Abraham Lincoln, ” for 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 a “time- server talented just in predicting and following tides of general general public belief” (Kennedy 18). He switched their place on same-sex wedding to guard the equality and dignity for the 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 price. Although their vote in support of same-sex wedding are priced at him his reelection to your state senate, it had been a sacrifice that is worthy. Within the terms of Mayor Bloomberg, McDonald strolled far from their state senate utilizing the “satisfaction of once you understand smoking fetish sex free for the others of his life he endured up and voted his conscience” (Kaplan and Grynbaum). McDonald reaffirmed America’s “faith that individuals will likely not simply elect males that will express their views ably and faithfully, but in addition elect guys that will work out their judgment that is conscientious”Kennedy 223). During their very very first and final term into the state senate, McDonald obtained a feat many politicians don’t achieve in a lifetime—he embodied democracy that is true.


Kaplan, Thomas and Michael M. Grynbaum. “Governor and Mayor Are Upset That 2 Backers of Gay Marriage May Fall. ” The Newest York circumstances. This New York Instances Business, 19 Sept. 2012. Internet. 23 Oct. 2012.

Kaplan, Thomas. “Cuomo Backs Republican Whom Lost Main After Vote for Gay Marriage. ” The Newest York Instances. The Newest York Occasions Business, 26 September 2012. Online. 22 Oct. 2012.

—. “Gay Marriage Vote Rises as Test in Upstate G.O.P. Race. ” This New York circumstances. This 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. ” This New York Days. This New York Occasions Business, 24 Sept. 2012. Online. 23 Oct. 2012.

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

Kennedy, John F. Profiles in Courage. Nyc: Harper Collins Publishers, 2003. Print. “Know Your Rights: faqs about brand brand brand 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. ” National 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.