There are now only
eight three Democrats in the Senate who have not voiced public support for full marriage equality. MoveOn.org has launched petitions against each of them, urging them to join their colleagues and abandon their past support of discrimination against gays and lesbians:
- MARK PRYOR (AR): In 2006, Pryor voted against a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, but expressed his support for both the Defense of Marriage Act and Arkansas’s state marriage amendment. This month, a spokesperson said that Pryor still believes that homosexuality is a choice.
JOE DONNELLY (IN): In a 2012 debate, Donnelly said that same-sex marriage is “not a winning issue in Indiana.” A spokesperson said last week that he still believes marriage is “reserved for the union between a man and a woman,” but he will “continue to review the issue.” BILL NELSON (FL): Last week, Nelson said it’s still his “personal preference” that “marriage is between a man and a woman.”
- JOE MANCHIN (WV): Not only did Manchin oppose the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2010, he still believes that “a marriage is a union between one man and one woman” and he supports the Defense of Marriage Act.
- MARY LANDRIEU (LA): Landrieu admitted last week that her “personal views have evolved,” but she’ll still defer to the people of Louisiana, referring to the fact that 78 percent of Louisiana voters supported a 2004 constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
HEIDI HEITKAMP (ND): According to a spokeswoman, Heitkamp believes marriage should be handled “on a state-by-state basis.” When President Obama endorsed marriage equality last year, Heitkamp dismissed the milestone as a “distraction.“ TOM CARPER (DE): Before: Carper believes states should decide who can get married, but he opposes the Defense of Marriage Act. His position “continues to evolve” as he gives this issue “a great deal of consideration.” TIM JOHNSON (SD): Johnson said last week that he no longer supports the Defense of Marriage Act, but he has yet to support marriage equality for everybody. Johnson is planning to retire at the end of his current term.
At this point, 48 Senators already support marriage equality, so it would only take three of these Democrats to establish a majority on the issue. While some seem to be evolving — or stalling, as the case may be — it seems others are quite content to continue ignoring the lives of same-sex families in their home states.