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Posted at 11:16 AM ET, 03/ 4/2011

Sam Arora is now for and against marriage equality

By Jonathan Capehart

Maryland Del. Sam Arora (D) has broken his silence and ended his disgraceful wavering on how he will vote on the marriage equality bill. A measure he campaigned on and co-sponsored, by the way. After reading his statement below, you'll be forgiven for thinking the first-term legislator is trying to have it both ways.

I have heard from constituents, friends, and advocates from across the spectrum of views and have thought about the issue of same-sex marriage extensively. I understand their concern--this is a very serious issue, and one that many people feel passionately about. As the vote drew nearer, I wrestled with this issue in a way I never had before, which led me to realize that I had some concerns about the bill. While I personally believe that Maryland should extend civil rights to same-sex couples through civil unions, I have come to the conclusion that this issue has such impact on the people of Maryland that they should have a direct say. I will vote to send the bill to the floor because it deserves an up-or-down vote. On the floor, I will vote to send the bill to the governor so that Marylanders can ultimately decide this issue at the polls. I think that is appropriate.

So, great. Arora keeps his promise to vote for the bill in committee and on the floor. But after supporting marriage equality to get elected, he now says he supports civil unions? And his support for a voter referendum if the measure passes is unconscionable. Yes, a referendum is legal and will almost assuredly be approved in Maryland. But putting the civil rights of a minority up for a popular vote is never a good idea. In fact, it's wrong.

By Jonathan Capehart  | March 4, 2011; 11:16 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Next: Same-sex marriage isn't the threat to African American families

Comments

But putting the civil rights of a minority up for a popular vote is never a good idea. In fact, it's wrong.

----
Very wrong.

Posted by: streff | March 4, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

It's not "marriage equality", it's the redefinition of the word "marriage".

Posted by: spamsux1 | March 4, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Del. Sam Arora basically has decided to be a one term politician in Maryland.

People do not forget when you try to deny their civil right. And he forgets who he represents, the people of Montgomery County, not exactly Palin Territory.

Posted by: rcc_2000 | March 4, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Wow. A whole life of preparation for a two-week career as a politician and then he throws it all away. It would almost make a good Shakespearean tragedy, except no one wants to watch a play in which the protagonist is just a common bigot.

Posted by: uh_huhh | March 4, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Well, Arora supposedly represents me and he got my vote. Technically I guess he hasn't reneged yet. But this is a pretty pusillanimous volte-face. Full tail-between-legs mode. Tell ya what, he goes ahead and votes in favor of a referendum and he better not knock on my door come next election.


Posted by: laboo | March 4, 2011 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Civil rights issue?
So who you are attracted to entitles you to change what marriage is? Only to those desperate to have a cause to live for.

Civil unions have existed in many states for many years, but that isn't the point. This is about needing a purpose-driven life.
Now, for some of you zealots, if people wish to maintain what marriage has meant to western culture for centuries they are bigots and hate-mongers. How hateful, stupid, and unenlightened the previous generations were.

Posted by: slatt321 | March 4, 2011 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Let's see, the middle east is blowing up, could lead to a big war, gas prices are increasing and could lead to a huge economic problem for the us. We're still at roughly 9 percent unemployment. And, it seems, all Capehart can write about is whether gays can marry.

Posted by: Marin823 | March 4, 2011 7:29 PM | Report abuse

This whole thinkg has seen some really disingenuous behavior by members of Maryland's House of Delegates. Really, somebody didn't realize it wasn't about civil unions? And now Mr. Arora, who has revealed he doesn't know what "lying" is as he takes as many positions as he can. Does Maryland have the ability to recall an elected official?

Posted by: DaveinNorthridge | March 4, 2011 10:42 PM | Report abuse

@spamsux1: Was the legalization of interracial marriage a redefinition of "marriage" or not? I wish that anti-gay people could explain the difference. If you want to say it's about the fact that different-sex couples can have children, explain to me why two octogenarians can marry or why a gay man and a lesbian who a friends and wish to adopt together can marry, but two gay men and two lesbians cannot. Marriage inequality is a policy based solely on hatred of gay people nothing more, and it's time that it ended in Maryland.

Posted by: dlafave | March 5, 2011 7:44 AM | Report abuse

@Marin823: Golly gee, did you stop to think that basic legal equality is something that matters to a lot of people.

Posted by: dlafave | March 5, 2011 7:49 AM | Report abuse

I AM AN AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN GOD ALLOWED FOR ME TO BE BORN THIS COLOR AND WHEN HE CREATED ME I HAD NO SAY SO ABOUT IT I HAD NO CHOICE. THE SAME WAY HE CHOICE A WOMEN FOR ADAM --ADAM HAD NO CHOICE IN THE MATTER. WHAT IS THE POINT? THE POINT IS YOU WHO ARE READING THIS MESSAGE DID NOT CHOOSE TO BE ON THIS EARTH GOD DID AND WEITHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT THERE ARE THINGS THAT GOD HAS CHOOSEN AND NOT YOU. NOT THE PEOPLE AND GOD DID NOT CHOOSE FOR MEN MARRYING MEN ETC BUT THAT IS WHAT THE PEOPLE HAVE CHOOSEN AND THE LOVING GOD THAT CREATED US ALL TOLD US THAT YOU CAN CHOOSE TODAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE IT'S UP TO YOU! AFRICAN AMERICAN --SPANISH AMERICAN ETC GOD HAS CREATED TO BE THIS WAY HE HAS NOT CHOOSEN FOR THE SAME SEX TO BE TOGETHER THAT IS WHAT SOCIETY HAS CHOSEN. LET'S MAKE RULES TO PROTECT PEOPLE IN SAME SEX RELATIONSHIPS BUT NOT SAY OH THE WAY WE WILL PROTECT AND RESPECT THEM IS BY GIVING THEM A MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE, BECAUSE THIS IS THE LIFESYLE THAT THEY HAVE CHOOSEN FOR THEMSELVES NOT GOD. BUT GOD SAID THAT IF THIS IS WHAT THEY HAVE CHOOSEN THAT IS YOUR GOD GIVEN RIGHT A CHOICE

Posted by: kingdom_business | March 5, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

"Yes, a referendum is legal and will almost assuredly be approved in Maryland."

I disagree with that particular statement, Jonathan. I think someday it will be made clear by the Supreme Court that such a referendum is in fact ILLEGAL--it violates the US Constitution! This has already been the finding in federal court's Prop 8 case, which is now before an appellate court.

Posted by: ArmyDoc808 | March 5, 2011 8:08 PM | Report abuse

A referendum is a cop-out. This ain't a strict democracy, it's a democratic-republic. We elect leader to MAKE decision, not to kick them back to us whenever they are tough ones.

If you oppose it, vote that way. If not, vote that way too; that's why you were electied. Otherwise, why have an election in the first place.

Posted by: MadiganT | March 6, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

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