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Posts for March, 2013

Sen. Kay Hagen Supports Marriage Equality

Jim Burroway

March 27th, 2013

Sen. Kay Hagen (D-NC) comes in just under the wire:

Marriage equality is a complex issue with strong feelings on both sides, and I have a great deal of respect for varying opinions on the issue. After much thought and prayer, I have come to my own personal conclusion that we shouldn’t tell people who they can love or who they can marry.

This wasn’t a decision I came to overnight, like my Republican colleague Rob Portman expressed recently on his own viewpoint. Last year, I opposed Amendment One because I was concerned about the negative consequences it could have on North Carolina families and our economy. The fabric of North Carolina and what makes our state so special is our families and our common desire for a brighter future for our children. No matter what your family looks like, we all want the same thing for our families – happiness, health, prosperity, a bright future for our children and grandchildren.

Religious institutions should have religious freedom on this issue. No church or minister should ever have to conduct a marriage that is inconsistent with their religious beliefs. But I think as a civil institution, this issue’s time has come and we need to move forward. Jobs and the economy are the number one issue for me and for North Carolinians right now, and I’m not going to take my eye off that ball at a time when so many are still struggling.

Sen. Hagen joins Claire McCaskill (D-MO),  Mark Warner (D-VA), Mark Begich (D-AK), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), and Jon Tester (D-MT) in sparing their grandchildren the eternal embarrassment of being on the wrong side of history. Remaining holdouts among Democratic Senators include Tom Carper (DE), Bob Casey (PA), Joe Donnelly (IN), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Tim Johnson (SD), Mary Landrieu (LA), Joe Manchin (WV), Bill Nelson (FL) and Mark Pryor (AR). The silence of Sen. Carper, who represents a state with strong pro-marriage equality sentiment, is particularly baffling. 

On the GOP side, Sen. Rob Portman (OH) is the only sitting Senator to announce his support for marriage equality.