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You can change their minds. You can win them over.

A Maryland Republican has done the unthinkable. He has gone from supporting those odious marriage-as-one-man-one-woman acts to opposing them practically overnight. Why? He met some gay couples, and learned they’re human beings.

In an effort to get the bill to the House floor, a special joint committee was formed and legislators were left scrambling for seats. Kach, who had previously backed attempts to define marriage as between one man and one woman, found a space right next to the witness table.

“I saw with so many of the gay couples, they were so devoted to another. I saw so much love,” he said. “When this hearing was over, I was a changed person in regard to this issue. I felt that I understood what same sex couples were looking for.”

A week later, Kach voted for the gay marriage bill on the floor of the House of Delegates, one of only two Republicans to do so. Their support proved vital, as the bill squeaked through the 141-member chamber on a 72–67 vote. The bill’s passage through the Senate also was close – it passed 25-22 Thursday – and Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat and a strong supporter the law, is expected to sign it soon.

I can barely believe this. It is empirical proof that you can sway someone simply by proving to them that you are good human beings, and that you deserve the chance to love equally.

Certainly, you can’t sway everyone. But there’s a percentage to be had in simply exposing people to the things they demonize.

Keep fighting. Keep loving. No matter how long it takes. It is everyone who wants to stop you who must and who will change.

Comments

  1. Chiroptera says

    It isn’t surprising that some conservatives (I assume that Kach identifies as such) are decent human beings that will do the decent thing when they realize what decency requires of them.

    What suprises me is that the unthinking fanatics haven’t yet finished purging the Republican Party of decent human beings.

  2. unbound says

    I think most people do the right thing once they are actually immersed into a situation or with a group. The trick is trying to get these rich bastards to let themselves be involved.

  3. says

    This is wonderful and unsurprising. If you think about it, it’s not entirely unprecedented in non-political life – many people have their perceptions of gay people change once a friend reveals themselves to be gay, or if they otherwise talk to someone gay, and some parents brought up in an era condemning homosexuality soon realise the lies they were sold when their child comes out and is no different for it.

    A huge part of the problem is that people against gay marriage (or even just being gay) will say they have gay friends, but very likely have little contact with gay people. Because of this, their imaginations run riot with demonising us-and-them mentality. But just as gay people are real people, politicians are people too, and if more of them spent more time coming to terms with gay people as regular human beings, I reckon a lot more would be less bigoted.

  4. Mr.Kosta says

    And here I thought a sine qua non condition to be a Republican was to be a bigoted asshole. This comes off as a pleasant surprise.

  5. julian says

    It’s nice to see someone willing to change their mind on an issue after the opposing side has made their case.

    I could rant on about how we should always recognize others as people with the same rights we enjoy but the level of misinformation and anti-gay propaganda out there no doubt make it difficult to sometimes see ourselves as the bigots.

    Considering this may be career suicide (one way or another) all I can say is, thanks for sticking your neck out there. To paraphrase Ben Franklin, better to hang together than separately.

  6. Stan Brooks says

    For all the iconoclastic accommodationists out there I would like to point out that this persons personal epiphany (to borrow a term) was not jeopardized or threatened by “militant” atheists or gay activists and happened, as it happens, on it’s own, and as a result of his own, shall we say, encounter with the reality of who these human beings
    are. Actual human beings, much like himself, and not the stereotypical “faggots with an agenda”.

  7. says

    To make it even better, Del. Kach framed his change of mind as a “pro-life” position. To paraphrase: as a pro-life Republican, he wants to make sure children are taken care of. (!!!) He sees same-sex couples raising children, and he wants their families to enjoy the same legal protections as straight married couples do.

  8. slc1 says

    In fairness, it should be pointed out that former US Vice-President Cheney, who now lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, personally lobbied Rethuglican legislators to support the same sex marriage bill. In case, as a Canadian, Mr. Tribault is unaware of it, Cheney’s daughter Mary is a lesbian, currently living with her partner, who has had two children by in-vitro fertilization.

  9. Brownian says

    In case, as a Canadian, Mr. Tribault is unaware of it, Cheney’s daughter Mary is a lesbian, currently living with her partner, who has had two children by in-vitro fertilization.

    You have no idea how much we wish we could be unaware of your politicians, their families, their platforms, who they’re screwing, what colour dress the person they were screwing was wearing, whether or not they inhaled, how swift their boats were, whether or not the mission was accomplished, where they were suspected of not being born, what sort of religions they’re suspected crypto-members of, what sort of dog wearing what sort of make-up they are, what Dan Savage has changed their names to mean, how much they enjoyed firing people, what diseases each of their wives got before they divorced them, how sickly rich and out of touch they are, and how much our current government seeks to emulate them.

    Frankly, being ‘uaware’ is a privilege that the rest of the English-speaking world just doesn’t have.

  10. Brownian says

    Frankly, being ‘uaware’ is a privilege that the rest of the English-speaking world just doesn’t have.

    Okay, probably just North America.

  11. Chiroptera says

    Brownian, #9: You have no idea how much we wish we could be unaware of [etc].

    Some of us do. ‘Cause some of us wish we could be unaware of our politicians’ private lives, too.

  12. kim says

    I took slc1′s comment as being a gracious way to point out Cheney’s activities. He didn’t make the assumption that Jason knew about these them and was making a comment that about something he thought Jason might find interesting.

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