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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Autism and Gay Marriage

Roy McDonald, a Republican state senator from upstate New York, has long been an advocate for people with autism. This past week, he also provided a crucial vote in support of gay marriage. As Lucian McCarty writes in The Saratogian, McDonald said that there was a connection:
"I’m trying to do the right thing. I’m basically a father, a grandfather of two disabled grandsons. You try to be a good person. You try to respect all the arguments and review it. Now we can move on," McDonald said during his discussion with reporters, explaining why he changed his vote from two years ago, when he voted the measure down with the other Republican senators.

"It’s one sensational issue. I’ve struggled over this," he said.

McDonald has also been aloof about his stance on the issue this year. "The reason I wasn’t candid is because I didn’t have my mind made up. I thought about it; it doesn’t come easy."

The senator attributed his change of heart on the issue to his two grandsons who have autism.

"You realize people in circumstances aren’t what you think they’re going to be, and you develop some sensitivity," he said.