Sam Arora, marriage equality and the race card
Since I wrote about the disgraceful wavering of Maryland House Del. Sam Arora (D-Montgomery County) on the marriage equality bill he campaigned for, raised money from gays and lesbians on and co-sponsored after his election, three things have come to light. All of them negative.
Within moments of my post hitting yesterday, Yusef Najafi of MetroWeekly broke the news that Arora would vote against the "Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act." "[Arora] told me that he was going to vote against it on the floor," Del. Kumar Barve (D-Montgomery) told Najafi. "I've been in the legislature for quite a while, and nothing is a reality until you actually push the button. And these are hard issues. But he came to me and told me that he was having difficulty with the concept of it." Barve added, "It's been a shock for many of us. I'm hopeful that he will change his mind and vote for marriage equality on the House floor."
When, exactly, the bill will come to the floor is part of the second negative thing to come to light. Arora has said that he would vote for the measure in the judiciary committee. But The Post's John Wagner reports that a committee vote has been delayed. Seems as though Arora-itis is spreading, as two legislators who were in favor of the marriage equality bill have shown signs of cold feet.
And, thanks to David Badash, I have been alerted to the characteristically unhinged musings of Maggie Gallagher. The chairman of the board of the National Organization for Marriage charged that I and others are playing the race card against an Indian American. Nevermind that Neera Tanden, the policy powerhouse from Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, the Obama-Biden campaign, the Obama administration and now the Center for American Progress, who demanded a refund of her contribution to Arora, is Indian American.
What Gallagher doesn't quite get is that if Arora does, indeed, vote against the marriage equality bill when it goes to the floor he will have committed the ultimate sin in politics. He would have lied to get donations, endorsements and votes. As I wrote Thursday, politicians lie all the time. But the outpour of anger from Arora's constituents and others clamoring for equity and fairness is more than justified.
| March 4, 2011; 8:36 AM ET
Categories: Capehart | Tags: Jonathan Capehart
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