Two more Senators come out for marriage equality


Less than 24 hours after Democratic Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill came out in support of marriage equality, two more senators have made their pro-equality views public. Virginia Senator Mark Warner, Democrat, and Alaska Senator Mark Begich, Democrat, both released statements Monday night. 

Senator Warner wrote in a Facebook post that he supports marriage equality. In the post, he simply says, “I support marriage equality because it is the fair and right thing to do.” 

In recent years, Virginians have changed their views on marriage equality. In 2012, the Washington Post reported that nearly 49% of Virginian’s favored legalizing same-sex marriage in the sate, according to a poll they conducted. 

Warner points out the changing trend in his post.

“Like many Virginians and Americans, my views on gay marriage have evolved, and this is the inevitable extension of my efforts to promote equality and opportunity for everyone,” he writes. “I was proud to be the first Virginia governor to extend anti-discrimination protections to LGBT state workers.”

Warner has never publicly stated his beliefs regarding marriage equality before,  but has a history of making inclusive political decisions. 

“In 2010, I supported an end to the military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, and earlier this month I signed an amicus brief urging the repeal of DOMA,” he writes. “I believe we should continue working to expand equal rights and opportunities for all Americans.”

Senator Begich’s office issued an official statement on the Alaskan Senator’s position relating to marriage equality on, stating that the Senator believes, “same sex couples should be able to marry and should have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as any other married couple.”

“Government should keep out of individuals’ personal lives — if someone wants to marry someone they love, they should be able to,” says the statement. “Alaskans are fed up with government intrusion into our private lives, our daily business, and in the way we manage our resources and economy.”

Begich believes that while everyone deserves the right to marry, churches should also retain the right to decide whether or not they will perform same-sex ceremonies. 

“Gay and lesbian couples should not be denied the ability to pledge their love and commitment through the civil institution of marriage,” reads Begich’s statement. “I believe that two committed adults of the same sex should be able to receive a government-issued marriage license, while religious institutions retain their right to determine which marriages they will perform.”

Bergrich did not sign the Supreme Court brief asking the court to declare DOMA as unconstitutional. 

On Sunday night, Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill made a public statement on her tumblr in support of marriage equality, titled “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13.”

In the four paragraph post, in which McCaskill called marriage equality a “great American debate,” she declares that, “Gay and straight should be allowed to fully participate in the most basic of family values.”

McCaskill has supported same-sex civil unions in the past, but not marriage equality.

She cites her friends and family as influential forces in her shift, writing, “I find myself unable to look them in the eye without honestly confronting this uncomfortable inequality. Supporting marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples is simply the right thing to do for our country, a country founded on the principals of liberty and equality.”

She also says that it is not the government’s responsibility to decide whether or not same-sex couples can get married. 


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