But there is one thing Sen. Martins has never discussed in his column. He's been very vocal about the 2% tax cap, and the MTA tax, and easing the burdens of state mandates for local municipalities. But he hasn't said word one about his position on same-sex marriage.
Why is that?
He's not the only one of the Long Island Seven who has not taken a public stand but for the purposes of the 7th Senate District, he's the only one whose position matters. Like it or not - and MNYT doesn't like it one bit - he is the narrowly-elected representative of all the residents of the 7th SD. And a certain percentage of those residents are being discriminated against by not being allowed to marry the people they love. They are Second Class citizens in Jack's district. And he is ignoring them.
It's bad enough that civil rights are being lumped in with financial considerations such as tax caps and rent control, but we know how politics works and we know it's all about "having hand." (Seinfeld aficionados - that's your shout-out!) But Senator, at least let your constituents know where your vote will fall when it finally does come down to it.
If it will make you feel better Jack, your "boss" Dean Skelos has already announced that it's okay to vote with your conscience - this time. As opposed to the last time when everybody voted as they were told.* (That's SO reassuring isn't it?)
But what IS your conscience telling you Jack? We don't know! If you believe that marriage should only be sanctioned for heterosexual couples, then so be it. We at MNYT would heartily disagree with your position but we would not disagree with your right to hold that position. What we DO object to is cowardice. It's time for you to act like an adult and let people know how you WILL vote IF you clowns ever decide to get this show on the road!
* From the June 13, 2011 Newsday article by Yancey Roy:
Supporters are cautiously expecting that at least two more Senate Republicans will eventually support the measure, now that Sen. James Alesi (R-Perinton) has opened the gates.(available at http://www.newsday.com/news/region-state/30-state-senators-openly-back-gay-marriage-1.2954585)
Alesi, who voted against a gay marriage bill in 2009 when it was defeated in the Senate, announced his reversal after a late afternoon meeting with the governor. Alesi called his no vote two years ago "anguishing" and said he did it for political reasons -- because Republicans had decided to vote against it in a bloc.
"I've apologized for letting people down, but I was supporting a conference vote that I believed at the time politically was necessary when we [Republicans] were in the [Senate] minority," Alesi said, essentially saying that the GOP didn't want to give the Democrats who then controlled the chamber a victory.
He called his new stance liberating. "I believe that if you live in America and you expect equality and freedom for yourself, then you have to extend it to other people," Alesi said.