Senator Dodd is on the Right Side of History

8 Jan

Why Senator Dodd is on the “right side of history” (which is, in this case, the left).

Chris Dodd (a Democratic Senator from my great home state of Connecticut) announced this week that he does not plan to seek re-election in Connecticut when his term is up. (And while Dodd has seen his poll numbers decline in Connecticut, I frankly can’t believe he is the CT Senator whose neck is on the line.)

I am sad to see Senator Dodd go. My respect for him extends broadly to his long history in the Senate, but I particularly admire and will always remember this editorial that he published last summer.

In it Dodd admits that for a long time, he supported civil unions for LGBT couples while reserving marriage rights for heterosexual couples. His view of marriage as between one man and one woman had been ingrained in him since his upbringing. But in a rare show of wisdom and confidence, he was smart and secure enough in his convictions to move beyond this and “keep learning.”

I was struck by the following statement:

“But the fact that I was raised a certain way just isn’t a good enough reason to stand in the way of fairness anymore.”

In its simplicity, this is among the most insightful remarks I’ve ever heard a politician offer on LGBT rights. Dodd refuses to continue to try to justify the outdated values with which he was brought up in a contemporary setting. And if I sound nothing short of reverent here, it’s because articulate and sincere defenses of my rights are hard to come by in the political sphere.

Perhaps most movingly, when Dodd saw the “different reality” his daughters were growing up in, he knew he had to recalibrate his values: “I want them to know that, even if he was a little late, their dad came down on the right side of history.”

Senator Dodd proved in this editorial not only that he represents me, as an LGBT constituent, but that he also represents my parents, my teachers, my hometown, and Connecticut as a whole in the incredible journey they’ve taken (Connecticut is the “Land of Steady Habits”) to recognize LGBT rights. I applaud his honesty and his maturity. I can only hope that his replacement is as eloquent and courageous an advocate for marriage equality.



So- P.S. How do your local and state officials stack up?

P.P.S. Really: read Senator Dodd’s thoughtful, inspiring op-ed here.


One Response to “Senator Dodd is on the Right Side of History”

  1. Jameson January 9, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

    …or on the Left.

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