by Max Brantley
U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor covered his social conservative flank for 2014 on Wednesday. He voted against extending job benefits to same-sex partners of federal workers. Many enlightened corporations provides such benefits. It makes for happier workers and more stable homes.
Pryor's lame excuse — he was the only Democrat in opposition and took pains that his vote be recorded — was that the benefits conflict with the federal Defense of Marriage Act, currently challenged in court. He also said that he remains opposed to same-sex marriage. That, arguably, is a religious issue on which many have understandable differences. But he took pains to also note his continuing support of the Arkansas constitutional amendment that bans not only same-sex marriage but also civil unions with legal protections for couples.
Pitiful. We head again to another one of those terrible dilemmas. No, he won't be as bad as the Republican alternative. But nose-holding won't be sufficient prevention for a gag reflex.