How Do You Define “Arora”?

A commentary

Jim Burroway

March 3rd, 2011

Benedict Arnold’s name has become an adjective. How do you define Arora?

The lead sponsor of the marriage bill in Maryland’s House of Delegates was also the first person to endorse Del. Sam Arora (D-Montgomery County) in his 2010 election. Now, however, Del. Kumar Barve (D-Montgomery County), says that Arora’s decision to vote against the bill is “a shock.”

“I don’t know what to think,” Barve tells Metro Weekly this evening of Arora’s decision to vote against the marriage bill that he once co-sponsored, once it makes its way to the House floor, something Barve says Arora told him personally.

“He told me that he was going to vote against it on the floor,” Barve says. “I’ve been in the legislature for quite a while and nothing is a reality until you actually push the button. And these are hard issues. But he came to me and told me that he was having difficulty with the concept of it.”

Democrats control the Maryland House with a 98-43 majority, yet the marriage equality bill’s sponsors are having a tough time coming up with the votes to pass it the bill. Part of the problem is with people like Arora, who had not only co-sponsored the bill, but campaigned (and accepted campaign donations) on the promise that he would support marriage equality. He even earned the support of Maryland Equality in the past election, where he wrote this addendum on their questionnaire:

I am a former law clerk to Attorney General Doug Gansler. I publicly supported his decision to recognize out-of-state marriage licenses for same-sex couples and immediately put out a release praising his findings. For me, it’s simply a matter of equal rights under the law.

But now that he’s been elected, all that has changed. He not only says that he will vote against it, but he is trying to wipe out his previous boasts that he was a co-sponsor. His facebook friends aren’t having it (John Aravosis saved a few choice responses in case Arora decides to “Arora” his facebook page as well.) Meanwhile, campaign donors are demanding refunds from the moral coward who lied through his teeth to get elected.

Here is his contact info. You know what to do.

Twitter: @Sam_Arora
(410) 841-3528, (301) 858-3528
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3528 (toll free)
fax: (410) 841-3011, (410) 841-3528, (301) 858-3528, (240) 245-0018

Now, about that definition of “Arora”… (I’m relaxing enforcement of our comments policy for this post only. Simply because Arora deserves it.)

David C.

March 3rd, 2011

Bait and switch.

Mark F.

March 3rd, 2011

Arora = Santorum

Eric in Oakland

March 3rd, 2011

Arora = mixture of blood & mucous produced by anal rape


March 3rd, 2011

BTB, question if I may:

I understand that because of the turn of events last week, we’re having trouble getting the bill onto the House floor (out of the Judiciary Committee).

Given the Democratic majority (98-43) is it projected that there will be trouble passing it in the house if it gets to the floor?

I haven’t seen any reporting on that.


March 3rd, 2011

Betraying a group that got you elected by reversing course on the promises that won their allegiance. May be used as a noun or a verb.

Richard Seward

March 3rd, 2011

Arora (noun) (1) Man advertising 9 inches and showing up with only 5.
(2) One who tramples on constitutional and human rights at the direction of theocratic bosses. see Islamofaciost Terrorist

Lindoro Almaviva

March 3rd, 2011

Are there any processes for a recall in Maryland?

Maybe they need to start one, let’s see how long it takes him to shit his pants when they wee that there are people willing to run against him and people willing to put money in his political destruction.


March 3rd, 2011

Apparently, Newt Gingrich kick-started Iowa’s Supreme Court Justice recall campaign by dropping $200K of anonymous donations into the tip jar.

It doesn’t ring true that Arora bumped up against an unexpected crisis of conscience related to being a born-again Christian, as has been suggested, in recent weeks.

If born-again influences among his colleagues, friends, family, and staff had been significant and/or empowered, he would not have been so closely aligned with Hillary, and with marriage equality.

The big question in my mind: Who did get to him?

Maurice Lacunza

March 3rd, 2011

Arora is his stage name when he dances at the Lebonese drag bar.

Maurice Lacunza

March 3rd, 2011

I sent my email to him and am posting it on my blog:

Your Dishonorable Arora,

According to media reports, you are reversing your vote for the marriage equality bill in Maryland. You spoke and gave speeches in support of equal rights. Now, you want to change your mind? What about us? Do we no longer matter to you? We don’t get civil rights because you have religious problems? You deceived everyone and especially the gay community and you even took their money. If you intend to vote against the Maryland marriage bill, then you should return the money that helped get you elected.

Or, you could be HONORABLE (in accordance to your Christian beliefs) and vote for equality. God does love ALL.

Otherwise, this is shameful behavior for a human being and especially a Congressman. You need to keep your word or leave the Maryland Congress.


March 4th, 2011

Haven’t I seen this guy in gay porn videos?


March 4th, 2011

So a politician turned out to be a liar! So what’s the real news? I thought the 2 words were synonymous.


March 4th, 2011

typical. can’t friend him or post comments on his fb page. The idiot right are all posting comments on our “agenda” to force politicians to actually deliver on what they promise. Some idiot right wingnut actually believes that obama betrayed the str8’s by killing DOMA when we ALL know he’s been in support of gay marriage since before he was elected. i love how they can outright lie to make it seem like someones a badguy.

Chitown Kev

March 4th, 2011


Maybe not in support of gay marriage but Obama has campaigned against the Defense of Marriage Act since 1996.

The bigots have taken ahold of the Obama flipflop meme and run with it (part of that is Obama’s fault, part of that is our side’s fault for not catching that… but the latter is not surprising).


March 4th, 2011

What changes people’s minds on these topics?

From a strategic perspective, it’s critical to understand that.

Yes, he’s on the hook for having changed, so visibly, and he’ll have a political price to pay for that.

But, _analytically_, his failure is our failure, and “we” have to understand how “we” failed. If we do not have that, we repeat, instead of learning/evolving.

What’s striking is that this guy is no dope. That makes his case more interesting to me.


March 4th, 2011



March 4th, 2011

Amicus, someone greased his pockets. That’s what changed his mind.


March 4th, 2011

Steve hits the nail on the head. This was not a genuine change of mind nor the result of some internal religious conflict. Nor does it seem that he was always opposed but just let everyone believe he was in favor.

Why do I say this? Because if any of the above were true, we would have seen evidence of it when he campaigned in 2010 and during the run-up to the vote in 2011.

For example, in NY, state senator Joe Addabbo betrayed us, taking our money and endorsements and then voting no. But the difference is that during the campaign and through 2009 he made an effort to avoid unambiguous statements on the issue, always trying to leave himself some out. And for many weeks prior to the vote, he was silent. That is exactly how we would expect him to behave if he was always opposed to SSM. Low-key and as ambiguous as possible.

By contrast, Arora has made repeated statements emphatically and unambiguously supporting SSM and he continued to do so right up until the end of February. That isn’t how you behave if you know that you are going to vote no or if you are in internal spiritual turmoil.

The only explanation is that someone has introduced into his thinking a new incentive to vote no.


March 4th, 2011

He is too pretty to be str8.

Chitown Kev

March 4th, 2011

Arora has now come out in favor of the bill.

But Arora is also saying that this should be decided by “the people.”

And Governor O’Malley is saying the same bullshit

Richard Rush

March 4th, 2011

Maybe this will become the definition as written in the future:

Arora (noun) (1) An ambitious young political office-holder who secures strong support and funding from a particular constituency to get elected, and then gets thrown out of office because s/he threw that constituency under the bus. (2) An unethical forgotten has-been politician who worked to harm many of the people who helped him get elected. (3) A political “flash in the pan.”


March 4th, 2011

Arora has made repeated statements emphatically and unambiguously supporting
So did many others, including, say, Rudy Giuliani, until suddenly he changed his tune, too.

I think one can make a list of reasons people make their decision.

If Sam’s back to supporting the measure, and if he did have “doubts” that stalled him, that is the stuff of gold, that someone could talk about with him on deep background. Experts mine those “epiphanies”, right, to tell them what they did wrong and what they did right.

At the risk of repeating, it’s the same kind of thing that would be valuable to have collected from the Maine experience (via focus group or whatever): are you a person who changed your mind? If so, what was persuasive? do you agree with the way you voted, still? What piece of information would cause you to change your view? Etc.

Of course, some people aren’t going to give their reasons (because they know that they are illicit or frowned upon). But, you don’t need that many who will do, in order to get a good sample.

J. Peron

March 4th, 2011

I recommend a class action lawsuit asserting fraud. Whether it can be won or not is not the issue, the continuing publicity for this deceitful politician (I know it’s redundant) is precisely what he doesn’t want. He calculated risk and benefits over the short term — all politicians do. He figured he’d get flak but it be over quickly.

A continuing law suit asserting that he took money under false pretense would turn the short term into the long term and significantly raise the costs to him. Such a suit would gets lot of publicity.

And it has a chance since this was a very specific promise to donors and voters which he went back on, not some vague “I’ll give you hope” BS.


March 4th, 2011

I guess “Arora’d” now means “Lies to get elected”, or maybe “backstabbing”, or maybe “hustler”?

Dan Savage should start another contest to redefine Arora.

Timothy Kincaid

March 4th, 2011


Yes, the House vote will be tight. No one is making any assumptions.

Timothy Kincaid

March 4th, 2011


What changes people’s minds on these topics?

Usually someone close telling them just how much they are hurting and discounting them.

Perhaps the best example ever was when San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders threw a press conference to oppose the city’s support of marriage equality, only to come to the mike and tearfully say that he simply couldn’t hurt people he cares about and that he was going to support the cause.

Timothy Kincaid

March 4th, 2011

An aurora is a natural light display in the sky caused by charged particles in the magnetic field. It’s flashy, but it provides no warmth. It’s showy but it isn’t substantial enough to be useful.

So perhaps an Arora is a politician that is flashy but lacks principle or substance.

Chitown Kev

March 4th, 2011

Awhora works for me.

Timothy Kincaid

March 4th, 2011

Well, apparently “ping-pong ball” would also be a good description.

He is now back to supporting the bill in committee and on the floor because, get this, he doesn’t support same-sex marriage and if the bill passes then “the people can vote on it”


March 5th, 2011


I believe that there is a majority swath of Americans who have either positive or non-negative (not strong, one way or the other) experience interacting with gays.

But, when it comes to this question, for some reasons or some passions, their compassion stalls, for lack of a better term.

This is consistent with the Schubert analysis that was done for California.

Shubert’s work found that they had no traction politically for just ‘putting down the gays’. What they came up with, instead, was a way to turn indifference or compassion into fear, which is a powerful emotion.

Accordingly, they made people feel threatened, to “think” they were going to “lose” the public integrity of their own marriage, “lose” their religious freedom, take an unnecessary risk, and lose control the ability to ‘teach kids’ that homosexuality is wrong (the last, a brilliant coup for double-speak, since they are also claiming that God loves gays). They enlisted what are called decision ‘influencers’, primarily religious leaders.

Now consistently to defeat a campaign like that, one has to know which “hooks” are operating, how and on whom, right? One can make general guesses, but there is no substitute for real segmentation.

The other thing that is clear is that you can’t “win” with just a general (ad?) campaign, if it depends on influencing. You can’t just say, “here are our beautiful families, see, vote for us!”. You have to meet objections and raise the bar on the competition, just as they did to you. As Shimon Perez said, “If you just sing for peace, then pretty soon all you are is just a singer.”


March 5th, 2011

Ahead at the start:

A survey released by the Field Institute in mid-September showed that fully 55 percent of likely [California] voters were opposed to Prop 8, with just 38 percent in favor. The political elite all but wrote off Proposition 8 as being dead once the Field Poll was published. To make matters worse for us, less than a week after the Field Poll came out, the No on 8 campaign began its television advertising in the state’s major media markets.

The Schubert-Flint thing (only reference I could find on the web – I thought it was on AFER site, but couldn’t locate it – they split all the filings over several web pages, making it that much harder to find what you are looking for)


March 5th, 2011

[here’s a tough case in point:

You are running a campaign to influence voters. Someone suggests Lady GaGa.

You look at your numbers, indicating what influences which people and in which ways, and you say {…} ?

Of course, this presupposes that a gay “Frank Schubert” exists that could control or run _a_ campaign, so maybe the question is DOA.]

Richard Rush

March 5th, 2011

Our side never seems to articulate how full equality, including same-sex marriage will benefit everyone. Without that education, there is no self-interest motive for people to support us. Whenever the marriage issue surfaces in a state, the NOM crusaders create an undercurrent of fear that children could possibly be taught to be gay, and it’s all over: People vote against us because there are zero perceived positives in it for them, but there is the fear of possible negatives. Our appeals to senses of equality, fairness, and compassion are a difficult sell against fear. While people may be accepting of gay people in general, I think the vast majority want their own children to be straight.

People need to be educated on how children cannot be taught to be gay, how attempts to suppress gayness in a child only leads to a damaged life (and a damaged family), and how full acceptance and equality greatly reduce the possibility of their own son or daughter being deluded into a marriage destined to be dysfunctional because the spouse has hidden sexuality issues.

And people need to know that being deluded into a marriage with hidden sexuality issues is not just a possibility so remote that it’s not worth worrying about. It has been one of the constant sources of dysfunctional marriages throughout history. My own anecdotal observations of people I know and hear about tell me that these marriages have been far more numerous than I could have ever imagined when I was younger. The people I know and hear about include those who have walked away from their “straight” marriages after many years, and those still married while actively seeking/engaging in homosex on the side.

I would like to ask every parent with children some questions: Would you want your son or daughter to marry someone who is in denial about their homosexuality? Would it not be better for society to encourage marriage between people who are actually suited to each other on such a fundamental issue as sexuality? Or do you believe, as our “pro-family” opposition apparently does, that we should continue to encourage deceptive marriages because they represent a higher level of morality than homosexual relationships? Here is a story about this issue:

As the debate over legalizing same-sex marriage in the District [of Columbia] grows louder and more polarized, there are people whose support for the proposal is personal but not often talked about. They are federal workers and professionals, men and women who share little except that their former spouses tried to live as heterosexuals but at some point realized they could not.

Many of these former spouses — from those who still feel raw resentment toward their exes to those who have reached a mutual understanding — see the legalization of same-sex marriage as a step toward protecting not only homosexuals but also heterosexuals. If homosexuality was more accepted, they say, they might have been spared doomed marriages followed by years of self-doubt.

. . . and the story goes on.

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