Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
This article can be found at:
Latest Posts

NY GOP Marriage Supporter May Turn Democrat

Jim Burroway

June 28th, 2011

New York statesman and freshman state Senator Mark Grisanti ( (R-Erie and Niagara Co), who eloquently described why he supported that state’s marriage quality law even though he campaigned against in in 2010, is taking withering flack –his local hometown paper describes them as “withering body blows” –from conservatives and fellow members of the Republican party:

Grisanti fared no better with his own party as Erie County Republican Chairman Nicholas A. Langworthy made clear his disapproval that the senator went his own way on a key issue.

“For Mark to go back on his word that he gave to his constituents and to me — I am deeply disappointed,” Langworthy said.

… Langworthy and Erie County Conservative Chairman Ralph C. Lorigo were especially critical of his reneging on a promise to vote against the measure while campaigning last year.

“He informed me by text while he was on the floor,” Langworthy said of Grisanti’s Friday vote. “I urged him to stick by his word he had given. The people elected him on what he ran on. This is not tax policy or something. This is important stuff.”

Important stuff — more important to the GOP than the economy.

Got it.

Grisanti now says that he won’t rule out running for re-election as a Democrat, after rejecting the idea following his vote last Friday.



June 28th, 2011 | LINK

He may be a statesman and a good guy on the marriage vote but he doesn’t seem to have a consistent and reliable moral compass. He seems to change positions every time the wind blows. Democrat? Republican? Pro-equality? Anti-Equality? Which way is the wind blowing?

David Roberts
June 28th, 2011 | LINK

The acceleration of the debasement of the GOP is just incredible. I’m amazed that I was ever a member. There really is nothing left to redeem them.

Jim Burroway
June 29th, 2011 | LINK

He doesn’t seem to have a consistent and reliable moral compass. He seems to change positions every time the wind blows.

I guess some people would rather others remain predictably and reliably rooted in ignorance rather than being allowed to become “wiser today than yesterday,” as he put it:

I’ve done the research, and I believe that a person can be wiser today than yesterday. I apologize to those who feel offended, to those I have hurt with the votes that I had six months ago. But I believe you can be wiser today than yesterday when you do the work.

Growth and change is what we celebrate everyone someone recognizes they were wrong. It utterly baffles me to no end to see people do what we want them to do — to change their mind — and condemn them for it.

There used to be a place in the GOP for people with conviction and moderate views — remember Lowell Weicker? Could Ronald Reagan even get elected in today’s Republican Party primaries? After all, he did raise taxes when he saw the deficit begin to spin out of control in 1983. In the bigger picture, maybe it’s the GOP being blown by the winds, not Grisanti.

Mark Cross
June 29th, 2011 | LINK

Spellcheck headline…

David C.
June 29th, 2011 | LINK

Diaz, a Democrat and stridently against marriage equality, could trade parties with Grisanti and it would be a wash. It would also better align both of them ideologically.

June 29th, 2011 | LINK

Very snarky and insulting comment Jim. You know good and damned well that I wouldn’t “rather others remain predictably and reliably rooted in ignorance”. I’m reasonably concerned about if he has ANY kind of roots at all. That was my point. This flip-flopping of parties and willingness to sell his soul to the Republican platform to get elected and then, thankfully, reneging on his “unalterable” campaign promise, and then considering switching parties again to save his seat, doesn’t give me much faith that he’s a man of principles but rather a man of opportunity. I would say the same thing about any politician who such a record regardless of whether I agreed with their current position or not.

You may not see it quite the same way as I do but there’s no call to pull out an insulting straw man argument and attribute it to me. I fully support growth and change of heart and mind. I didn’t condemn that in any way. I questioned his commitment based on his history.

June 29th, 2011 | LINK

And may I point out that, by his own words, he DIDN’T have a change of heart and mind. He made it clear that in his heart and mind he always knew that marriage equality was the right thing to do but it was POLITICAL CALCULATIONS that drove his vote. HE said that, not me. So, knowing that, it seems absurd for you to defend him as if his change of vote was based on a new found understanding of gay people or the Constitution rather than a new found understanding that his job is to make laws that support and protect Constitutional guarantees of justice and equality instead of protecting his political career.

And AGAIN, I salute him and appreciate his growth in that important realization. I just hope that he has really learned that lesson and that his future actions better demonstrate it than his past actions.

June 29th, 2011 | LINK

Jim, thanks for covering this. Grisanti deserves our ongoing support. It’s not a one-shot deal. Our opponents can bring a lot of social pressure on people, still, and be petty.

The worst thing that could happen to him is to “flop” back.

June 29th, 2011 | LINK

Regardless of his flips or flops we have no choice really but to support his re-election; whichever party he runs under. It’s crucial that we get the marriage supporters re-elected; PARTICULARLY the Republicans, in order to show the state of New York and politicians in the other 49 states that voting for equality is a winning proposition and to show that our side is a greater force to reckon with than NOM, the Catholic and Mormon Churches and other anti-gay organizations. If NOM is successful in defeating the 4 pro-equality Republicans it will be devastating to our cause nationally.

Priya Lynn
June 29th, 2011 | LINK

Tampazeke said “He may be a statesman and a good guy on the marriage vote but he doesn’t seem to have a consistent and reliable moral compass. He seems to change positions every time the wind blows.”.

Doing that was much more moral than remaining an anti-gay Republican would have been.

I’m with Jim, if you didn’t want him to “remain predictably and reliably rooted in ignorance” then it was pointless to criticize his flipflopping.

June 29th, 2011 | LINK

I concur. We gays sometimes do not have the back of our supporters. I still lament how 4 Supreme Court justices in IA were voted out of office. NOM was exacting revenge. We had our sights on other goals. Let’s make sure that does not happen again.

June 29th, 2011 | LINK

Gay marriage has been a very hard sell west of the Hudson Valley. Buffalo is in a culturally different part of the country from Albany and NYC.

If Grisanti gets defeated, chances are the winner would be the previous state Senator, Antoine Thompson. Who previously voted for gay marriage legalization. And arguably paid the price for it while everyone’s in a big hurry to reward Grisanti.

Timothy Kincaid
June 29th, 2011 | LINK

He made it clear that in his heart and mind he always knew that marriage equality was the right thing to do but it was POLITICAL CALCULATIONS that drove his vote. HE said that, not me.

Zeke, you have your politicians confused. Grisanti did the research and changed his position accordingly. I think you are perhaps thinking of Kruger.

June 29th, 2011 | LINK

I hope he follows his heart and leaves the BIGOT party in the trash where it belongs.

June 29th, 2011 | LINK

Timothy, I understand that Kruger and Asanti said similar things but Grisanti said, in an interview with WGRZ explaining his vote, “I would say three years ago, it was probably, with that letter and how strong it was, was probably more political than actually conscience.”

So I believe my previous comment was accurate.

And thanks for bringing up Kruger. If Jim is going to heap praise on Asanti and accuse me of not graciously accepting a change of position, then why did he write the post putting down Kruger instead of simply praising him as well. Instead he complained that one was a statesman and the other was a politician. I content that they are BOTH politicians. And in SPITE of that I’m thankful for both of their votes. And as I said in another post, I believe that we MUST support Grisanti in his re-election bid no matter what party he runs under.

Priya, if you had read my post you would have been aware that I supported his flipping. I’m just concerned that, with his record, if the wind changes he may flop again.

June 29th, 2011 | LINK

“Asanti” should be “Alesi”

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.