The Daily Beast on the Defeat of Pro-SSM Senators: "It Wasn’t Supposed to Be This Way."


David Freedlander writes in the Daily Beast about false expectations -- and about what the real consequences of voting to redefine marriage are:

"... It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

When the four bucked their party leadership, renounced their longstanding opposition and voted to bring gay marriage to New York, they were hailed far and wide as the fearless four, touted for their courage and independence. Their votes came after marriage equality failed in the legislature in 2009, and Andrew Cuomo made it a major focus of his first term in office. Supporters of the bill launched a months-long, full-throated lobby campaign, complete with celebrity pitchmen like Lady Gaga and Larry King. After voting with the Democrats to legalize same-sex marriage, the four GOP senators were granted long, loving profiles in The New York Times Magazine and Time. Mayor Mike Bloomberg threw a pricey fundraiser for them in Manhattan. Gay marriage backers assured them that they would remember their vote for every Election Day hence—even if the candidates were running against Democrats.

“We are in it for the long haul with any supporter of gay marriage,” Brian Ellner, the lead lobbyist behind the effort, said in June 2011 as he was trying to convince the four to support the bill. “We have not lost a single supporter because of their support of marriage equality in an election and we are certainly not going to start now.”

But the results so far have left supporters of gay marriage fearful that the primary will dissuade other Republicans around the country from supporting same sex marriage.

... But anti-gay-marriage groups like the National Organization for Marriage used the little-noticed primary to send a message to Republicans around the country who are thinking of switching over. “The message we sent was pretty simple,” said Brian Brown, executive director of NOM. “If you are a Republican and you vote for [gay] marriage, you are going to lose.”