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09/13/2011

She shares my name, not my support. Does she get to share my enthusiasm?

by Jeremy Hooper

NY state Rep. Earlene Hooper (D-18) is honoring the passage of marriage equality, with a blurb in her latest mailing about the legislation that "shields gays and lesbians from discrimination":

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(H/t: Mike Cucinotta)

Only problem? Ms. Hooper (the deputy speaker, not my mother) actually voted AGAINST the bill! She was one of the fifteen Democrats to break ranks from the majority. And here she is hailing passage, now that NY has embraced marriage equality with open arms? Puh-leeze!

Now, it's possible that this is a standard note inserted into all Democratic representatives' mailers. I haven't seen my Assembly member's (enthusiastically pro-LGBT Dick Gottfried) mailer yet, so I'm not sure. But regardless of the reason, this is the kind of thing I expect to see more of in the years to come. As marriage equality becomes less of a conversation piece and more of a no-brainer, onetime opponents are going to slowly ease into an "oh yeah, of course I support that" role. This is particularly true with Democrats, now that the national party is finally shaking off the years of Bush era complacency that allowed this issue to get so out of hand in the first place. I'm sure that we'll see all kinds of elected officials trying to have it both ways -- history revisionism in tandem with changing polls.

On this, I say no. If politicians like Rep. Hooper want to make amends and actually admit a wrongdoing, that's one thing. A very different thing. But to have a heightened platform that you use against equality and then turn around and elbow your way into the post-vote celebration without so much as a "sorry"? Uhm, no -- sorry.

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