This week’s marriage equality arguments at the Supreme Court have catalyzed an avalanche of new support from Democratic Senators who previously were tentative about supporting the freedom to marry. The latest is Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), who is ready to “move forward with this issue”:
HAGAN: I know there are strong feelings on both sides, and I have a great deal of respect for their opinions, but after much thought and prayer on my part this is where I am today.
I know all our families do not look alike. We all want the same thing for our families. We want happiness, we want health, prosperity, a bright future for our children and grandchildren. After conversations I’ve had with family members, with people I go to church with and with North Carolinians from all walks of life, I’ve come to my own personal conclusion that we should not tell people who they can love, or who they can marry. It’s time to move forward with this issue.
When North Carolina was considering a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions last year, Hagan spoke out against the measure but stopped short of supporting full marriage equality.
At this point, only nine Democratic Senators remain who have not expressed full support for same-sex marriage: Mark Pryor (AR), Bob Casey (PA), Bill Nelson (FL), Tom Carper (DE), Joe Manchin (WV), Mary Landrieu (LA), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Joe Donnelly (IN), and Tim Johnson (SD). Johnson indicated this week that he does oppose the Defense of Marriage Act, but he has not spoken out for full marriage equality.