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King Canute, know what I mean?

So. The New York State Senate is, once again, about to decide whether to join its neighbor up here to the north in allowing marriages to include either more or fewer than one penis. Come on in, kids, the water is fine.

Now, while I have been enjoying, in an odd way, the suspense and tension built up by the New York Senate and its rules and quirks, I am of the opinion that if they don’t manage to pass this thing today, they will pass it in a couple of years. We’re too close, and they are too famous. They can’t lag behind for very long. Not that my confidence in eventual civil rights should comfort or dissuade couples resident in New York at this time. Justice delayed is proverbial, after all, and it’s easy for me, legally married in a Civil Rights state, to be sanguine. Still, purely as a matter of prediction: if it doesn’t happen today, it will happen by the end of 2013.

Which leads me to wonder about the New York State Senators who oppose the right to marriage. Do they see what I see? Are they convinced that the best they can manage is to delay this thing for another couple of years, and is that enough for them. Are they standing athwart history, knowing that they will be a bump under the steamroller? Or do they believe that the pendulum is about to swing back, that if they can hold this off for another couple of years, that the pressure will ease up, and the next delay will be easier, and then the next, and then they will kill it altogether? Are those politicians, representing for the most part districts full of so-called conservatives, thinking they just need to represent the backward interest of the rubes for another term, give everyone a sop, and then get out and up? Or are they seeing themselves as the Spartans at the Gates? Is staving off defeat an end in itself? Is it like the old saying about taxes, that income deferred for a year need never be taxed?

I have no idea, and I doubt the people in question have a very clear idea, either. Nor is any of this a good reason for a legislator to change sides and support a bill—the fact that it’s good policy would be the main thing, and if you think it’s a policy disaster, the rest of it will be colored by that opinion. Still.

I’m not sure I ever remember feeling this way about a bill the Other Party was putting over Our Party’s objections. I’m sure I have, but the feeling has faded and been forgotten. What would it have been? Some so-called Welfare Reform? Some terrible anti-labor law? Selling off mineral and logging rights of public lands? Well, and there must have been something, and tho’ I don’t remember it, I’m sure it must have been terrible for me, and if I had been able to, I would have stood athwart the trend of the time, myself.

What I’m leading up to, here, really, is that I will be out performing my show this evening and will miss the news. I hope it’s good.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


Yes... It wad frae monie a blunder free us / An' foolish notion.

You can be more charitable (slightly) and drop the "rubes" language: perhaps it's a simple calculation that their chances of re-election go up if on this issue they vote the interests of a devoted minority, who will get out on Election Day if they believe the candidate is with them on this one issue.

Ah, enlightenment has dawned.
It came in the form of an interview with New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, where he said that it was his hope that the gay marriage movement could turn out to be "like the ERA". Which of course never passed and has scant traction today (Molly Yard's "restarting the fight" speech at my commencement to the contrary).

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