Reverb12 Day Seventeen: Surprise.

Staying with Daily Angst today:

The most surprising thing that happened this year was…

Off hand, the first thing I think of is voters in my state of Maryland by referendum upholding equal marriage rights for homosexuals. I honestly didn’t think the electorate had the political and moral will to do it this year. Outside of President Obama being reelected, this was probably the most important news for me on election night.

My surprise at this close result is not due to me finding Marylanders immoral per se. But up until the vote was called here in favor of homosexual marriage rights, every single other similar statute across the nation that went to direct referendum lost. I think 36 of them in a row. Inertia seemed against it passing here.

Also, hate groups and other biased and bigoted institutions are well financed and hold great sway over electorates voting on gay rights. I think such groups have been successful mostly by playing on fear, but also because of the fact that even those who are conscientious about voting for office holders don’t often pay attention to the so called “ballot issues”. Those who do tend to pay attention often are the most rabid supporters of any given cause. I feared that the anti-gay sentiments everywhere would be enough to ignite a defeat of this referendum.

I’m relieved that I was wrong. Turns out the desire to provide homosexuals in Maryland with the same rights as other people was, (just barely) stronger than the desire to suppress them. I was moved by this turn of events and quite proud of the citizens of Maryland for making this historic choice. I was proud to be one of those that voted in favor of gay marriage. Nonetheless the result surprised me, and was in fact probably the biggest surprise of 2012 for me.

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