This Will Probably Be the Last Announced Support for Same-Sex Marriage from a Democratic Senator for a While

Jim Burroway

April 8th, 2013

Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), who has already said that he will not seek re-election next year, has now come out in support for same-sex marriage:

“After lengthy consideration, my views have evolved sufficiently to support marriage equality legislation,” Johnson said in a statement. “This position doesn’t require any religious denomination to alter any of its tenets; it simply forbids government from discrimination regarding who can marry whom.”

Since March 15, when Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) became the first sitting Republican Senator to announce his support for marriage equality, there has been a veritable avalanche Senators following with their announced support for same-sex marriage: Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mark Warner (D-VA), Mark Begich (D-AK), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Jon Tester (D-MT), Kay Hagen (D-NC), Bob Casey(D-PA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) have all joined the march to the right side of history.

There are only three Democratic Senators — Sens. Mary Landrieu (LA), Joe Manchin (WV), and Mark Pryor (AR) — who still do not support marriage equality. Manchin reitreated his opposition last week and Pryor has said he is undecided. Meanwhile Landrieu is trying to take the coward’s way out by saying that she’s on board personally but won’t go against her constituents, citing her state’s voter-approved constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Someone might want to remind her that Portman — Republican Portman — also represents a state with a voter-approved marriage ban, as do Begich, Hagen, Heitkamp, Nelson, Tester, Warner and, of course, Johnson, whose announcement means that there are now 54 supporters for marriage equality in the Senate.

Bruno

April 8th, 2013

Just to play devil’s advocate a bit here…Landrieu’s state is considerably more inimical to lgbt rights than Portman’s. I think she should still lead by example though.

Stefan

April 9th, 2013

The last until more Republicans come out. Murkowski and Collins are the next likely ones to do so.

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