Citing the Bible’s Golden Rule, Sen. Tom Carper (Del.) announced his endorsement for same-sex marriage on Facebook. “All Americans ultimately should be free to marry the people they love and intend to share their lives with, regardless of their sexual orientation,” he said. “That’s why today, after a great deal of soul searching, I’m endorsing marriage equality.”
Carper no doubt has seen many of his Democrat colleagues— Sens. Bob Casey (Pa.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Mark Warner (Va.), and Claire McCaskill (Mo.)— flip on the issue in the past two weeks, and decided it was safe to announce his support in liberal Delaware. A Delaware News Journal poll released in January showed 52% in favor of same-sex marriages.
After Sen. Bob Casey (Pa.) announced his approval yesterday, there are now seven Senate Democrats who disapprove of gay marriage: Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Bill Nelson (Fl.), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Joe Donnelly (Ind.).
The next one to leave the Senate Democrats’ anti-gay marriage room is anyone’s guess. But if one were to pick a Senator based on popular opinion, Florida’s Nelson would be a good bet. According to a Washington Post poll from October, 54% of Floridians think same-sex marriage should be legal. Yesterday Moveon.org released its petitions targeting the last Democratic holdouts.
Here is Carper’s full statement:
As our society has changed and evolved, so too has the public’s opinion on gay marriage – and so has mine. I pray every day for God to grant me the wisdom to do what is right. Through my prayers and conversations with my family and countless friends and Delawareans, I’ve been reminded of the power of one of my core values: the Golden Rule. It calls on us to treat others as we want to be treated. That means, to me, that all Americans ultimately should be free to marry the people they love and intend to share their lives with, regardless of their sexual orientation, and that’s why today, after a great deal of soul searching, I’m endorsing marriage equality.
Update: Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) announces his support for marriage equality, according to the Washington Post.