Well, it seems you can teach an old dog new tricks.
Jim Brochin, a Maryland state senator and Democrat, has switched his stance on gay marriage and says he will now vote in favor of the legislation.How did this happen? Sudden enlightenment? Did he realize he has a gay son or daughter? Gay friend?
No, it all happened because, as he listened to the arguments against marriage equality, he became disgusted. Brochin says, "The people who are against the bill, all they did was demonize homosexuality, call them pedophiles, androids, and I just, I can't oppose that bill and be on the same side of people who do that."
It was those charges, about gays being pedophiles and perverts and worse than terrorists and the cause of Hurricane Katrina and responsible for the failed economy, made during Senate hearings on the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, that caused Brochin to switch sides.
Brochin was initially opposed to the bill, although he was in favor of civil unions, and would have voted for a bill legalizing civil unions if such a piece of legislation had come before the General Assembly.
"For me and for my constituents, they've always said it's just about the rights. And if they just have the rights, then they don't care what they call it. So I was focused on the rights and didn't think we had to use the word 'marriage.'"
Now, he wants gay men and women to be able to marry, to be completely equal, and have their unions be recognized equally by the state of Maryland. He also thinks the legislation "has a good chance" of passing and that his vote in approval may convince other undecided senators to do the same.
The bill needs 24 votes to pass and 29 votes to prevent a debate. Brochin brings the total number of senators to 21 who said they would vote in favor of the bill.
You might want to drop him a line and tell him you appreciate his understanding of equality, and how it's important for all of us to be recognized equally.