I must admit, I am stunned at how quickly the Senate Democratic caucus is moving out in front (ha!) on marriage equality. Gotta get to the front of that parade, quick-step now! On the day the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Proposition 8 (more here) we learn that Democratic United States senators from Alaska and Montana have declared their support.
I really do believe that Harry Reid must have a sign-up board at Democratic caucus meetings so that these eager converts don’t step on each others’ press announcements. Or maybe Dick Durbin stage-manages these guys so they don’t fall all over each other climbing on the bandwagon.
First, Alaska’s Mark Begich, up for re-election in 2014:
Gay and lesbian couples should not be denied the ability to pledge their love and commitment through the civil institution of marriage. 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.
Begich went on to say, “Government should keep out of individuals’ personal lives—if someone wants to marry someone they love, they should be able to. Alaskans are fed up with government intrusion into our private lives, our daily business, and in the way we manage our resources and economy.”
And then, today, Montana’s Jon Tester, re-elected last year:
Tester released a brief statement Tuesday as the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments over California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The Montana Democrat says he is “proud to support marriage equality because no one should be able to tell a Montanan or any American who they can love and who they can marry.”
Tester was re-elected just last year. He previously opposed gay marriage, pointed to the decision by Montana voters in 2004 to amend the Constitution to prevent same-sex marriages.
For an almost comprehensive summary of same-sex marriage support by politicians (including Obama’s unequivocal support in February 1996; thank you Tracy Baim!), please see Mother Jones’ excellent timeline. It’s getting late in the game, Senate Democrats. These are the ten remaining holdouts.
Who will be last?