Last night we brought you the shocking case of Maryland House Delegate Sam Arora’s about-face on marriage equality. The elected official ran on a campaign of gay rights, accepted campaign donations from LGBT constituents, was endorsed by Equality Maryland and The Washington Post, and co-sponsored the bill that would bring marriage equality to the state.
That is, until he was reportedly “Born Again” sometime this week and was reportedly strong-armed by his religious leadership into announcing he would be voting against marriage equality – and against the wishes of the very folks who put him in office. We called upon you to let Arora know how you felt about his shocking betrayal on his Facebook page, and apparently the threat of a class-action lawsuit by campaign donors alleging the politician fundraised under fraudulent intentions (i.e. promising to vote in the opposite manner he intended) was enough to get Arora back in step with his constituents wishes.
Sort of. Arora sent a letter to Marylanders this morning reading:
I have heard from constituents, friends, and advocates from across the spectrum of views and have thought about the issue of same-sex marriage extensively. I understand their concern—this is a very serious issue, and one that many people feel passionately about. As the vote drew nearer, I wrestled with this issue in a way I never had before, which led me to realize that I had some concerns about the bill.
While I personally believe that Maryland should extend civil rights to same-sex couples through civil unions, I have come to the conclusion that this issue has such impact on the people of Maryland that they should have a direct say. I will vote to send the bill to the floor because it deserves an up-or-down vote. On the floor, I will vote to send the bill to the governor so that Marylanders can ultimately decide this issue at the polls. I think that is appropriate.
So while he won’t be voting to trample all over your ability to marry, he is voting to shirk the responsibility before him and call for a referendum in which Maryland voters will vote directly on the issue. While we don’t believe this is nearly good enough, Hey, at least he isn’t shooting the issue dead in its tracks.
We’ll keep you posted on the fall-out from Arora’s flip-flopping, but we can pretty much predict that his political career is dunzo. Even by politician standards, this guy’s behavior is just insultingly SHADY.
Are you relieved Arora isn’t voting against his own marriage equality bill? Aggravated he changed his tune in the first place? Tell us below.