2013 Winning Essay By Jamie Baer

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 obviously exasperated. Despite their tries to concentrate the debate on chronic unemployment, their opponent Kathleen A. Marchione had another agenda. Within the roar for the crowd that is restless Marchione persistently questioned McDonald about their controversial vote in support of 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 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. With what nyc 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. Recognized for their conservative values, McDonald had been a well-respected republican from saratoga County. During their 23-year run since the Town and County Supervisor while the president of this Saratoga County Board of Supervisors, McDonald’s proudest accomplishment had been eliminating regional home fees for 20 consecutive years. In reality, the county spending plan he proposed made Saratoga the cheapest taxed county in brand new York State. After building a standing of reliability and traditionalism in Saratoga, McDonald managed to move on to convey politics together with his election to your 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 offered McDonald the chance to raise himself from a forgettable official to a bold nonconformist.

McDonald’s role within the passage through of the Marriage Equality Act ended up being groundbreaking. This new York State legislature had been the chamber that is first a Republican bulk to accept same-sex marriage (Kaplan, “Results for G.O.P. ”). McDonald ended up being certainly one of just four Republican senators who voted for the Marriage Equality Act, making nyc the sixth state to permit same-sex wedding. 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 get the liberties, advantages, and defenses of maried people (“Know”). Gay-rights advocates rejoiced the passing of the work, including Governor Cuomo whom applauded McDonald for taking a stand “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 regarding the Marriage Equality Act started on July 25, 2011, because of the very very 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 stated that the Senate Republicans, including McDonald, involved in unlawful conferences with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo where the Senators received contributions for switching to aid what the law states (Precious). Regardless of the increasing stress from conservative teams, McDonald stated which he will never be sorry for their vote no matter if it finished their governmental profession (Kaplan, “Gay wedding Vote”). He maintained the “faith that their program was the most useful one” 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 survey carried out in 2003 because of the Pew Research Center for the individuals associated with Press, 59 per cent of Us citizens oppose enabling gays and lesbians to marry legally (“Public”). In a 2004 National Election research survey, 75 per cent 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 conventional and biblical concept of wedding a lot more than Democrats. In reality, just 23 per cent of Republicans supported legalizing homosexual wedding in a 2012 CNN/ORC Global poll (Reinhard). Consequently, the condemnation of McDonald’s vote in the Marriage Equality Act among their constituents that are republican have already been anticipated; McDonald cast their vote understanding the risk it posed to their governmental profession.

McDonald discovered the consequence that is true of vote on September 13, 2012, whenever his 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 to your undeniable fact that “people felt betrayed” by McDonald’s recommendation regarding 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 opposed within the past. Nonetheless, McDonald explained which he too thinks in conventional wedding and had not been interested in his “15 mins of fame” by casting the vote that is controversial. Instead, he had been protecting their “party of Abraham Lincoln, ” by which “everybody’s included” (Kaplan, “Gay Marriage Vote”). Into the terms of Kennedy, McDonald ended up being significantly more than a “robot dutifully recording the views of constituents” or even a “time- server talented just in predicting and following tides of general public belief” (Kennedy 18). He switched their place on same-sex wedding to guard the equality and dignity associated with greater public; with this work, their reputation among their conservative constituents ended up being irreversibly damaged.

McDonald’s jump of faith in June 2011 arrived at a high cost. Although their vote in support of same-sex wedding cost him their reelection to your state senate, it absolutely was a worthy sacrifice. When you look at the terms of Mayor Bloomberg, McDonald moved far from their state senate utilizing the “satisfaction of knowing for the remainder of his life he endured up and voted his conscience” (Kaplan and Grynbaum). McDonald reaffirmed America’s “faith that the individuals will perhaps 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 when you look at the state senate, McDonald reached 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 brand new York days. The Newest 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 Occasions. The Brand New York Instances Business, 26 September 2012. Internet. 22 Oct. 2012.

—. “Gay Marriage Vote Rises as Test in Upstate G.O.P. Race. ” The Latest York circumstances. The Brand New York Days Business, 11 Sept. 2012. Web. 30 Oct. 2012.

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

Kennedy, John F. Profiles in Courage. Ny: Harper Collins Publishers, 2003. Print. “Know Your Rights: faqs about 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 Suggestions 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.

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