Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Half of U.S. Senate Now Supports Marriage Equality

Mark Kirk became the 2nd Republican and 50th U.S. Senator
to endorse marriage equality for same-sex couples
Well, that didn't take long! Just a few days after I blogged that there were 9 remaining Democratic U.S. Senators who did not support marriage equality and wondered aloud how long it would take before a majority of Senators supported marriage equality, the answer comes that 50 U.S. Senators, a "functional majority" of that body (including Vice President Joe Biden) have explicitly articulated support for marriage equality.

The 50th Senator to do so is Mark Kirk of Illinois. Sen. Kirk is a significant addition to the list for two reason: he is only the second Republican U.S. Senator to (*cough*) come out in favor of marriage equality, and because he has been outed as a closeted gay man previously.

Sen. Kirk posted a statement to his official blog, saying:
When I climbed the Capitol steps in January, I promised myself that I would return to the Senate with an open mind and greater respect for others.  
Same-sex couples should have the right to civil marriage. Our time on this Earth is limited, I know that better than most.  Life comes down to who you love and who loves you back-- government has no place in the middle.
Amazingly, Kirk was not the only Senator to announce their support for marriage today. Finally, Senator Tom Carper of Delaware announced his support as well, in a somewhat bizarrely religion-infused statement:
As our society has changed and evolved, so too has the public’s opinion on gay marriage — and so has mine. I pray every day for God to grant me the wisdom to do what is right. Through my prayers and conversations with my family and countless friends and Delawareans, I’ve been reminded of the power of one of my core values: the Golden Rule. It calls on us to treat others as we want to be treated. That means, to me, that all Americans ultimately should be free to marry the people they love and intend to share their lives with, regardless of their sexual orientation, and that’s why today, after a great deal of soul searching, I’m endorsing marriage equality.
In other Delaware news, it's long Congressperson (the population of the First State is so small that it has an at-large Member of Congress), U.S. Representative John Carney also expressed his support for marriage equality this week. The fact that the entire federal Congressional delegation including Democratic Governor Jack Markell all support marriage equality should help move the pending marriage equality bill through that state's legislature,

Think Progress has a nice graphic containing the face of the 50 US. Senators who support marriage equality

The times, they are a changin'! Anyone else think we'll hit actual majority support in the Senate by the end of the week?

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