These accounts tend to follow a pattern. They are often emotional. They almost always reference gay family members, co-workers, or friends — people whose desire to be accepted as equal activated in the hearts and minds of these politicians the notion, seemingly obvious once it is articulated, that a legislative prohibition on same-sex marriage is discrimination akin to Jim Crow.
One of my favorites is the five-minute speech of Republican San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, who ran for office on a platform of opposing gay marriage. In 2007, he tearfully announced his support for a city measure supporting gay marriage:
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