In a debate Sunday, Senate nominee Linda McMahon (R-CT) reversed her earlier position in favor of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), by saying she supports “America’s law for same-sex marriage.”
Asked by a questioner about the fact that Connecticut has marriage equality but her original home state of North Carolina recently enacted a marriage inequality constitutional amendment, McMahon appeared confused:
Well, I live in Connecticut and I absolutely support America’s law for same-sex marriage. I wouldn’t pretend to try to impose my will or rights on others. I think everyone should have the freedom to make that choice.
In his response, marriage equality supporter Rep. Chris Murphy (D) noted that her answer was incorrect, as “America doesn’t have a law protecting same-sex marriage, in fact it has the exact opposite.” He added “I think the fact that Linda McMahon spent only about 20 seconds answering that question tells you that she’s not going to stand up to her party in Washington” on social issues.
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After the debate, McMahon clarified that she would now vote to repeal DOMA, saying “I have changed my position on DOMA. With now gay marriage approved in the state of Connecticut, I don’t think it’s fair.” She said her “opinion has just been evolving” but that she doesn’t know when her view changed.
While it is good news that she has come around to supporting marriage equality one month before the election, Connecticut has had marriage equality since 2008. In the 2010 campaign, her campaign said she supported DOMA because “she supports states’ rights.” The head of the anti-LGBT Family Institute of Connecticut endorsed McMahon in 2010 and again in 2012, noting, “It was Linda who reached out to us, not the other way around. It was Linda who made it a point to tell Connecticut’s voters of her opposition to partial-birth abortion and Obamacare-funding of abortion—and of her support for parental notification and the federal DOMA.” After the debate, he announced he is withdrawing his endorsement.