Drew Cordes

Accidentally Sitting By Gay Couples Changed MD Republican's Vote

Filed By Drew Cordes | February 24, 2012 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, The Movement
Tags: Abraham Lincoln, gay marriage, Kach, marriage equality, Maryland, same-sex marriage

An incredible story on the Maryland gay marriage vote is making its way around the web.Leadership-Changing-Your-Mind.jpg

In an effort to get the bill to the House floor, a special joint committee was formed and legislators were left scrambling for seats. Kach, who had previously backed attempts to define marriage as between one man and one woman, found a space right next to the witness table.

"I saw with so many of the gay couples, they were so devoted to another. I saw so much love," he said. "When this hearing was over, I was a changed person in regard to this issue. I felt that I understood what same sex couples were looking for."

A week later, Kach voted for the gay marriage bill on the floor of the House of Delegates, one of only two Republicans to do so.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Empathy is our most powerful weapon against hate and discrimination. As Abraham Lincoln said: "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?"

Granted, the heart that was changed in this instance had the advantage of belonging to a key state representative, but in the course of everyday life you never know who you might meet. Who's to say the person sitting next to the gay family in a restaurant doesn't have power and influence? It happened in the Capitol, but this scenario could've happened anywhere.

I can't help believing the most effective thing one can do is being out and being polite. Let everyone see your humanity. Its power is transformational. It changes people.

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