We have to admit, we laughed when we read the Advance headline, “Staten Island senator faces backlash over same-sex marriage vote.” Backlash? In Staten Island? Where “the first openly gay club in more than a decade” opened in August, and preachers inveigh against homosexuality on the Ferry? (Well, till recently.)
Fuhgeddabout it. We expect state senator Andrew Lanza will suffer little for his no vote. His colleague Diane Savino is more likely to suffer with Forgotten Borough voters her for beautiful speech in favor of the bill than Lanza. (Go see the comments that speech got at the Advance.)
And we doubt most of the other senators who voted no will suffer much in the short term, either. There are many parts of our fair state that are pretty much Alabama (except in Alabama people are more often pleasant, at least to your face). If anything is going to cut these senators’ throats, it’s the budget deficit, which is why the senator spent so much time evading action on it. These are creatures of almost pure self-interest we’re talking about here; they stick their neck out for nobody.
The “cries of betrayal” heard by the Downtown Express and others are heard only in the more civilized districts of New York and, to paraphrase Adlai Stevenson, gay marriage needs a majority. Regrettably, enlightenment is a slower process than it may at first have appeared. Political action is all well and good, but that mainly involves firing up the committed; changing hearts and minds is mainly done by everyday example. And unfortunately that’s not a one-easy-lesson deal.
It’s too bad but it’s not all bad. They used to burn witches around here. Things have been worse. They can always get better.