Oswego, NY – Central New York State Senator Dave Valesky is providing a glimpse as to how he would vote on a same-sex marriage bill.
WRVO's Jasmyn Belcher spoke with the democrat. As Valesky explains, marriage equality is not among his current priorities.
Below: A constituent reacts after hearing this interview and contacts the senator.
(WRVO would like to hear from you too. Email News@wrvo.fm to share your comments)
Dear Senator Valesky,
I write because as someone who voted for you enthusiastically, I am increasingly disappointed in your narrow views concerning same sex marriage, which you keep opposing to the economy in your interviews and commentary, as if only one issue may be a priority (e.g., look to President Obama as one who understands that myriad issues can be taken up simultaneously and in fact must be), as if same sex marriage is not part of the "broad picture" and "wider issues" (your words), and as if the two are indeed inherently opposed, rather than perhaps interrelated. For instance, tourism in Central NY and the Fingerlakes region, as well as the ADK, could be given a shot in the arm related to gay marriage (hoteliers, restauranteurs, wineries, etc.). One might consider that there are also people who might like to move to or remain in NYS/CNY if in fact gay marriage were legalized: our population drain and brain drain is a real issue, and related to "the economy" and the tax base.
In addition, getting behind the economy in an economic downturn is easy, socially and politically, and easily popular. But politicians are not simply charged with being popular, but also leading, which means engaging in difficult issues, moving in directions even politicians themselves hadn't considered personally or privately, etc.: you are expected in many ways to be more than your own individual beliefs as a senator and to think beyond the parameters of the status quo or the easily popular.
Obviously, I support same sex marriage and I know full well that many of your constituents do not, which is unfortunate. But in terms of civil rights and human rights, surely _you_ must be compelled to think of and lead toward the "wider view" of the humanity and dignity of your constituency/citizenry, for whom the material concerns of the economy are indeed important, but so are the issues of full belonging and membership in our society and in our state.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Vivian M. May