There’s a lot of interesting things happening politically right now but the story I’m focusing on involves an unlikely assortment of Democrats, Republicans, Orthodox Jews, Hispanics, Greeks, Turks, Koreans and oh — same-sex marriage.
NY Assemblyman David Weprin is running for the seat recently vacated by disgraced Anthony Weiner (of “sexting” infamy). It should be an easy win next Tuesday for Weprin in this Queens district (NY-9) which sees Democrats at a 3-1 voter registration advantage over Republicans.
Problem is, back in June, Weprin voted to redefine marriage, and went as far as to claim in doing so that he was inspired by his Orthodox Jewish faith to undermine the ancient and common sense understanding of marriage as between one man and one woman.
That ticked off, well, most everyone who isn’t a liberal white Democrat. 40 Orthodox Rabbis have signed a letter “blasting” Weprin’s gay marriage vote. The Jewish Journal and NY Assemblyman Dov Hikind (also an Orthodox Jew) have crossed over and endorsed Weprin’s Republican opponent, the Catholic Bob Turner. NY Senator Ruben Diaz, a Democrat and an ordained minister, well-respected by the Hispanic Community has taped a radio ad against Weprin — because Diaz puts faith and marriage in front of his political party. The New York Times recently published a fascinating profile of the immigrant communities in Queens who believe in marriage and feel snubbed and outraged by Weprin’s vote to redefine it.
… all of which has combined to push Bob Turner ahead of David Weprin by 6 points, according to a recent poll. The race has meanwhile been changed from a “Lean Democrat” to a “Tossup.”
Democrats are taking note and are funneling an absolutely massive amount of money into the race in the hope of changing the tide and pushing Weprin across the finish line, but make no mistake: the reason Weprin is fighting for his political life right now is because he crossed his constituents on one of their core values: marriage. The National Organization for Marriage (where I work) has invested $75K to get the word out among more people so they know where Weprin stands on marriage.
Whatever the outcome next Tuesday (and if you have resources you can provide to help defeat Weprin, please do!), let the lesson once again be learned: voting to redefine marriage is the best way to make an easy election difficult, and make a close election losable. Power to the people who believe in marriage.
You can follow the story here (I’ll post an update whatever the outcome on Tuesday) or until then at the National Organization for Marriage blog.