I’ll preface this post by saying I don’t want to blow this thing out of proportion. But… Cindy McCain, wife of former Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain has taken a public stance in supporting gay marriage in the state of California. She approached the NOH8 crew and asked how she could help. True, she’s not an elected official, and she doesn’t have a constituency or political responsibilities, so it’s not as if she’s taking any calculated political risks in supporting gay marriage.
But still. She’s conservative. She’s Republican. She’s married to John McCain, who is firmly against gay marriage. It’s unexpected. And while maybe it doesn’t make a huge difference, it definitely helps.
According to the NOH8 website:
Cindy McCain wanted to participate in the campaign to show people that party doesn’t matter- marriage equality isn’t a Republican issue any more than it is a Democratic issue. It’s about human rights, and everybody being treated equally in the eyes of the law that runs and protects this country.
NoH8’s founder, Adam Bouska, said:
In the year since we’ve started the NOH8 campaign, we’ve often been surprised at some of the different individuals who have approached us showing their support. Few though, have surprised us more than Cindy McCain.
I’ll bet. And no doubt there’s a Cindy of our own out there: somebody so totally unexpected, somebody outside of the predictable circles of support who would be willing to have their name and their face plastered all over the campaign material for comprehensive immigration reform.
There must be a Cindy out there who supports CIR. Correction, there must be many Cindys (Cindies?) out there who support CIR: unexpected allies who are watching the campaign’s progress unfold, tentatively wondering whether they should speak up, whether they should offer their help, whether they should offer their support.
In all the hand-wringing anxiety that followed Scott Brown’s election to the Senate in Massachusetts, we need to remember not to throw in the towel before the game is even played. There are a lot of reasons as to why we need to lace up and play. Immigration reform, just like marriage equality according to Cindy McCain, isn’t a Republican issue any more than it is a Democratic issue. There has been and will be bipartisan support for immigration reform, so some calming breaths to avoid throwing up in the locker room before the championship game are in order.
While occurrences like Cindy McCain’s support aren’t “game changers” (few things actually are), they are a good reminder that we should be prepared for anything- even welcome surprises.
p.s. Sorry about the excessive football metaphors. Go Saints. And if you’re feeling empowered, become a fan of the NOH8 campaign on Facebook.