Only in Olympia could approving a policy supported by a strong majority of the state be taken as a sign of political bravery. But that’s exactly the case with the marriage equality bill which, despite polling at about 55% approval, won Senator Ed Murray (narcissist, 43rd) and Governor Gregoire national credit for political bravery. (The irony was lost on nobody but the two of them.)
It is indeed a proud day for us as well. Love and hate are universal, intertwined, and applied inequitably to unequal consequence. So we are proud to haunt a state now where LGBT families will get the same tough love from an underfunded state government as straight families. We want LGBT couples who spend their lives together to have all the same rights as straight couples, right up through being buried together in the same crypts to rot away or rise again. We want all couples to have the right to visit each other on the streets outside emergency rooms where they can’t afford to receive care. And we want to make sure that homeless LGBT youth have the same inability to access underfunded service providers as every other youth.
Equality in immiseration is a important advance — and it’s such a bold position to take these days that even Goldman Sachs is down with it. Goldman Sachs is usually on the cutting edge of political change, aren’t they?
The debate over marriage equality also revealed a different side of Senator Ed Murray. The Ed Murray we know from the budget debate is incapable of seeing anything beyond the next program cut to tell his constituents he wishes he could do something about, apparently impotent to push a long-term strategy or move a single vote from Senator.
But the Ed Murray of the marriage equality debate is an entirely different beast. This Ed Murray works for years on a long-term strategy to turn the tide of the political debate in the direction of equality. This Ed Murray drives public and private persuasion tactics to force the issue in his direction. This Ed Murray is effective in pushing the policies he wants through a hostile and rapidly changing political environment.
While one Ed Murray makes change, the other Ed Murray makes excuses.
And that’s why we’re so thankful that the Ed Murray of the gay marriage debate has nothing in common with the ineffectual, self-serving, excuse-making Ed Murray of the budget. Because if that Ed Murray learned from the other Ed Murray, the humans may have gotten somewhere on the budget over the past few years.
Ed Murray contains multitudes. Thankfully they’re still not equal.