Today, Vermont became the fourth state to legalize gay marriage joining Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Iowa. The decision came down to a 100-49 vote in the House, which was the minimum vote required to overturn a veto issued by Vermont governor Jim Douglas.
One of the more interesting comments that I have read concerning the decision in Vermont came from Democratic Representative Jeff Young. Young, who previously voted in opposition to gay marriage, decided to change his vote and support the veto override. Here is what Young said concerning his decision to change his vote:
“You realize that, you know, it’s a poker game in some ways,” Young said. “Chips on the table. I’m a freshman. I have no chips. If I … had 20 years of chips, I probably could play any card I want. I don’t have that option.”
He added, “It’s the way the political game is played.”
Rep. Young says he remains philosophically opposed to gay marriage, but decided that voting along with the Democratic party line would help his career in the future.
My information concerning Rep. Jeff Young is taken from an Associated Press article found here.
Regardless of where one stands on the gay marriage issue, Jeff Young’s words should cause concern. Is the issue of gay marriage simply a game? Are we electing representatives who act in ways simply to advance their careers? It seems to me that on an issue that is so important to so many people, we expect our leaders to act based upon their convictions of what is right. Young admits that he thinks gay marriage is wrong, but he voted to support it because it was best for his career as a politician. Is this alarming to anyone else?