Two red-state Democrats, brand-new to the US Senate this January and thus not facing voters in North Dakota and Indiana until 2018, have announced their backing for marriage equality. Heidi Heitcamp (ND) and Joe Donnelly (IN) announced Friday that they support same-sex marriage. This brings the Democratic Hold-Out Caucus to four members: Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.
“In speaking with North Dakotans from every corner of our great state, and much personal reflection, I have concluded the federal government should no longer discriminate against people who want to make lifelong, loving commitments to each other or interfere in personal, private, and intimate relationships,” Heitkamp said in a statement. “I view the ability of anyone to marry as a logical extension of this belief.”
“With the recent Supreme Court arguments and accompanying public discussion of same-sex marriage, I have been thinking about my past positions and votes,” he said. “In doing so, I have concluded that the right thing to do is to support marriage equality for all.”
Six Senators have come aboard the Equality Train only this week.