Tonawanda News

Opinion

June 29, 2011

Grisanti showed courage, conscience

— — Republican and Conservative leaders may be furious with him, but state Sen. Mark Grisanti is a hero to the state's gay and lesbian community for his historic vote that made same-sex marriage legal in New York state.

He's a hero to us, too.

It took courage and independence for the Republican lawmaker to cast one of the two GOP votes that put the legislation over the top.

He voted his conscience, but may have committed political suicide in doing so. He stands to lose the Conservative endorsement next time he runs, and his GOP compadres are irked, too.

Too bad, he said through his vote: What matters more is human rights.

Personal belief, perhaps, and certainly political considerations aside, Grisanti came to the view that gays deserve the same rights as straight couples — to marry the person they love, to share in the same legal rights and to derive the same economic benefits as other married people.

Grisanti is in the majority in that decision, now, and unapologetic to those who expected a different outcome, based on his prior stated views.

Researching and studying an issue, changing your mind and voting your conscience based on that new knowledge.

You've gotta like that.

Unless you don't like human rights, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

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