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09/12/2012

Far-right New Yorkers hope voters as unfocused (and discriminatory) as they are

by Jeremy Hooper

It's pretty disturbing to see the way so many New York Republicans have signed on to the National Organization for Marriage' agenda of making marriage equality the number one issue of this election season. This one comes from Kathy Marchione, primary opponent of Republican Senator Roy McDonald, who is gleefully focusing on a New York Times piece focused on the big non-issue of the day:

Screen Shot 2012-09-12 At 8.27.05 Am

Is this really where NY state is right now? Marriage equality polled at majority levels here in NY even before the June 2011 vote. In the year since we've had marriage equality, not a one of the host of horribles that groups like NOM predicted has materialized (despite NOM's best spin). Marriage equality is not going anywhere, regardless of what happens in this year's statewide elections. Few want it to.

Yet in race after race, we see candidates like Marchione playing games with certain kinds of citizens and families. It seems like every day, a new flyer comes out in which a conservative Republican from New York attacks his or her primary opponent for his or her pro-equality vote. With any number of problems on the table both in state and nationally, it's still gays who are getting the far-right's focus. It's discrimination that is getting the attention.

Personally, I think that these far-righties are playing a really inept game that will all but hand a general election win to their Democratic challengers. But regardless of the politics, it saddens me to see so many of these electoral hopefuls so willing to do NOM's bidding. It may lead to an influx of NOM's Catholic dollars here in the short-term, and it may possibly put one or two from the most conservative districts into an Albany office. In the long run, however, the cynical politicking is deeply damaging both to the brain and psyche of a great state—a great state that deserves a much more adult conversation.

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