As I said during the week, I was surprised how close the self-styled “Campaign for Equal Marriage” came to scoring a majority vote for the Green/SF motion in the Assembly this week – noting also that fewer than half of MLAs, even discounting those genuinely absent from the premises, actually voted “no”. It deserved its relative success, and what was particularly interesting was the quality shown by the campaign after the vote.
MLAs who failed to vote “yes” were subjected to a barrage of abuse, some frankly unnecessarily unpleasant, by individuals. Yet the Campaign itself did not endorse any of that, despite its natural disappointment. On the contrary, it recognized that it is a long-term game, and that the best way to persuade people to its view is by remaining generous and civilized throughout. Rather than engage in recriminations against those who did not vote “yes”, it simply made sure it thanked those who did. Internally it ensured that everyone knew this was but stage one of the Campaign. I have no idea who is running it, but it is a superb example of a well-run, ground-up public affairs campaign.
I have no doubt those who were uncertain which way to go on the issue will have noticed the quality and generosity of spirit of the Campaign throughout. For that alone, it deserves every success.