Going outside traditional Democratic party lobbies to appeal to those on the other side who are open to our arguments was essential.... Governor Cuomo, by all accounts was magnificent at the politics and Mayor Bloomberg and critical Republicans and Democrats and all factions and groups in the gay movement - even HRC! - pulled together. That the most passionate opponent was a Democrat and the most powerful were Republicans helps scramble the attempt by the Christianist right to coopt conservatism for their reactionary theology.I don't know the details about the religious freedom protection in the bill, but I agree with Sullivan that's extremely important. I put up a quick post last night when the NY vote came in, and I read the comments this morning and saw a lot of fretting about government interference with religion. (For example, what happened to Catholic Charities in Massachusetts.)
It's a BFD because it also insists on maximal religious liberty for those who conscientiously oppose marriage equality. A gay rights movement that seeks to restrict any religious freedom is not worthy of the name. And it makes me glad that we largely avoided anything that looks like that strategy, and that last-minute negotiations were flexible enough to strengthen the protections for religious groups, churches, mosques, synagogues and the like. The gay rights movement is about expanding the boundaries of human freedom - and that must include religious freedom if it is to mean anything....
June 25, 2011
Writes Andrew Sullivan: