Yesterday’s article by Metro Weekly’s Yusef Najafi included a very powerful interview with Lisa Polyak from Equality Maryland:
But perhaps most shocked by Arora’s changed position on the marriage bill is Lisa Deane-Polyak, who has been with her partner Gita for 30 years. They have a daughter together, and Deane-Polyak shared her story with Arora, face to face, during a Feb. 21 Gertrude Stein Young Democrats gathering.
“I had a conversation with him at length,” she says.
“We talked about the fact that his family is originally from India, as is my partner, and where our families where from, respectively, in India. I thanked him for his support of marriage equality and he said it was something he believed in. I had a face-to-face conversation with him.”
Deane-Polyak says Arora’s changed stance is contradictory on many levels.
“It contradicts our conversations. It contradicts his co-sponsorship of the bill, it contradicts his candidate questionnaire which is signed with his own hand. Something very serious has come up for him, and it’s just not clear what that is or why.”
On February 21, 2011, Arora was still supporting marriage equality. I talked to Lisa today. She told me she actually spoke to Arora on February 21 at the Maryland Young Democrats lobby night. So, Arora was talking up marriage at a gathering not limited to LGBT activists, but to the Young Dems who had chosen to make marriage their key issue. Not every legislator chose to attend that Young Dems. event, just those who were supporting marriage.
As late as this past Sunday, just five days ago, Arora was still talking privately about his support for the bill. But, two days later (and only 3 days ago), on March 1, tweets started showing up indicating there was a problem with Arora’s support for marriage. We did our first post mentioning Arora on Wednesday morning. Given some of the feedback I got from people who know Arora, I initially expected that we’d hear that he was back on board and it was all a misunderstanding. Obviously, that didn’t happen.
What happened to Arora between Sunday and Tuesday of this week? What influenced him to switch his position — and endanger his political career? That’s the question I’d like answered. Only Sam Arora can answer it. And, he’d been publicly silent — except for a tweet yesterday stating that he was “Thinking and praying hard.”
Now he says he’s going to vote for the bill, even though he now, suddenly, doesn’t like same-sex marriage, and he says he wants to see marriage put up for one of NOM’s referenda, where it can be repealed. That’s not the full fledged support for marriage equality that Arora had just five days ago.
So what happened to Sam Arora this week that he’s not telling us?