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Doing the Right Thing

A huge fight is happening in New York State over a bill legalizing gay marriage, introduced by Governor Cuomo on Tuesday.

Leading the opposition is Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who equated the bill (without irony) to life in China or North Korea, where “government presumes daily to ‘redefine’ rights, relationships, values and natural law. Please, not here! We cherish true freedom, not as the license to do whatever we want, but the liberty to do what we ought.” (You know, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength)

That was just too much for Republican State Senator Roy McDonald, who snapped and decided to change his vote to yes — despite intense pressure from fellow Republicans to vote against the bill. McDonald, 64, told reporters:

You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn’t black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing. You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, fuck it, I don’t care what you think. I’m trying to do the right thing. I’m tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I’m trying to do the right thing, and that’s where I’m going with this.

You sir, are awesome.

UPDATE: The New York State Senate passed the bill, 33-29. Cuomo has promised to sign the bill, making NY the sixth state (and by far the most populous) to legalize gay marriage. Several Republicans in the Republican-controlled Senate voted for the bill, including one Senator who is a Catholic, but put his personal beliefs aside because he could not think of a legal reason why gays should not have equal rights.

UPDATE 2: Andrew Sullivan on why this matters. In case you don’t know, Sullivan is both a conservative and gay.



  1. ebdoug wrote:

    He isn’t the only Republican switching over. Our local Republican is now supporting Gay marriage. I think Westboro Church Protests are helping the cause in New York for Gay marriage. The very right wing who are opposed to gay marriage are more opposed to protestors lobbying for their opposition to Gay Rights at military funerals . New York State employees with partners already have the same rights as married people.
    20 year old Devin Synder has her military funeral tomorrow with thousands coming to hold flags and block any protests getting near the furnerl.

    Friday, June 17, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink
  2. David Freeman wrote:

    Awesome is right! Roy McDonald just restored a small flicker of hope in my heart for rational bipartisan action which puts people not power first. Made my day!

    Friday, June 17, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Permalink
  3. Bard wrote:

    great to hear, anyone wants to put bets on him losing his next primary?

    Friday, June 17, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Permalink
  4. starluna wrote:

    Wow. Wonderful news.

    Friday, June 17, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Permalink
  5. Laurie wrote:

    I sure didn’t see that coming!
    Good for Roy… good for mankind!

    Friday, June 17, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Permalink
  6. Jason Ray wrote:

    That’s my kind of politician!

    And that means, specifically to Bard’s point, that we need to support people like that whether we are in his district or not. He took a risk by doing the right thing, and it’s important to show people that do this that they have support and can keep doing it, otherwise the extremists will just throttle all of them.

    Friday, June 17, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Permalink
  7. oregonbird wrote:

    Can you believe the catholic church still dares to try to define morality?

    Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 3:15 am | Permalink
  8. a regular reader wrote:

    Note: Mario Cuomo ain’t our governor no mo’!

    Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 4:21 am | Permalink
  9. ebdoug wrote:

    Good point “A Regular Reader”. I live in New York and didn’t catch that. Try Andrew.

    Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 5:40 am | Permalink
  10. ebdoug wrote:

    “Albany takes a break with work unfinished”

    Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 9:11 am | Permalink
  11. Iron Knee wrote:


    Andrew, Mario, sigh. At least they aren’t both named “George”.

    Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 9:52 am | Permalink
  12. a regular reader wrote:

    Full disclosure: those two Cuomos look alike to me.

    Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Permalink
  13. Iron Knee wrote:

    The Marines on the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” —

    Warms my heart.

    Friday, June 24, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Permalink
  14. The Catholic senator who voted across the aisle is Senator Mark Grisanti… of Buffalo. Western NY is traditionally as red as Texas, and that took some real guts. For those who want to give him kudos, Twitter is!/senatorgrisanti and Facebook is

    Saturday, June 25, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Permalink