USA: Which Senate Democrats Still Oppose Marriage Equality?

Written by scott on April 3rd, 2013

Yes, there are still seven US Senate Democrats who oppose marriage equality. Who are they, and why are they opposed? The Washington Post has the details – here are the first couple:

Let’s examine the seven remaining holdouts — ranked in order from most likely to announce support for gay marriage in the near term to the least likely.

1. Tim Johnson (S.D.): Johnson’s past unwillingness to back gay marriage makes sense given that he represents a culturally conservative state where President Obama won just 40 percent of the vote. But, Johnson’s retirement announcement last week means that he is now free of those sorts of political concerns that others on this list have to deal with. Of course, his son is mentioned as a possible candidate and Johnson may not want to complicate that bid by making a public statement reversing course on gay marriage.

2. Bill Nelson (Fla.): Of the seven remaining Democratic holdouts on gay marriage, Nelson represents the state most friendly to his party — with President Obama having won it in both the 2008 and 2012 elections. In the immediate aftermath of Obama’s announcement last May that he was switching to support gay marriage, Nelson told the Miami Herald: “I believe marriage should be left to the states, and Florida voted on same-sex marriage in 2008.” (Florida voters approved a ban on same-sex marriage with more than 61 percent in 2008.) With public sentiment changing fast on the issue, however, it could well give Nelson a justification to switch positions. He would also have a bit of cross-party cover on the issue since Florida GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is one of a handful of Republicans who has said she supports gay marriage.

If you live in South Dakota (Tim Johnson), Florida (Bill Nelson), North Dakota (Heidi Heitkamp), Louisiana (Mary Landrieu), Indiana (Joe Donnelly), West Virginia (Joe Manchin), or Arkansas (Mark Pryor), contact your Senator and insist that they support marriage equality.


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