Great news out of my home state of Pennsylvania. Matt Cartwright, the attorney who defeated incumbent Conservadem Tim Holden in the Democratic primary for Pennsylvania's 17th district, is now in favor of marriage equality.
When President Obama announced his support for marriage equality in May, Cartwright--an old-school Catholic--did not back the President's decision. Noting his support for civil unions, he claimed at the time that:
with respect to gay marriage, I’m not there yet. I’m very old school and old-fashioned. I’m not saying I’ll never get there.That sounds familiar, doesn't it?
Well, like President Obama, Cartwright has officially completed his evolution. Like many Democrats, independents, and even (although significantly fewer) Republicans before him, he just sees no good reason that gays and lesbians should be barred from marrying.
Cartwright tells the Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader:
I’m for marriage equality. There’s no reason to discriminate against gay people. They’re not a threat against anybody.He adds:
It wasn’t any ‘ah-ha’ moment. One thing I didn’t want to be was rushed into (making a decision). It seemed like Vice President Biden rushed the president into it. I just kept thinking it over in my mind and I didn’t see a good reason to discriminate against a substantial population of American citizens.From the Times-Leader:
Cartwright said had he not run for Congress, he might not have reached a decision by now.Well, good on him for making the right decision. A late stand for equality is better than hiding behind the false "compromise" of civil unions. That option is becoming less and less viable for Democrats, which is a wonderful thing. Welcome aboard the equality train, Mr. Cartwright.
He said that as a candidate for Congress, he felt he needed to make a decision.
“This is a job where you have to take positions,” he said.
Cartwright will face certified nutjob and teabagger (but I repeat myself) Laureen Cummings, who has this to say on the subject:
As a Christian, I believe the Lord says gay marriage, just as divorce, is wrong.She also claims that marriage equality is one of the
wedge issues that progressives are using to divide the country, and I don’t like that.The choice for Pennsylvania's 17th district couldn't be clearer. Here's Cartwright's website and ActBlue page, if you feel so moved.