Another U.S. Senator has flipped on the issue of legalizing gay marriage. Senator Christopher J. Dodd, a Democrat from Connecticut, announced over the weekend that he now supports gay marriage.

During last year's Democratic presidential primary, Dodd aligned himself with President Obama, who endorses civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.

Dodd's new position was announced at his Senate blog in a post titled Rights, Responsibilities and Love.

“While I've long been for extending every benefit of marriage to same-sex couples, I have in the past drawn a distinction between a marriage-like status [civil unions] and full marriage rights,” Dodd says.

“My young daughters are growing up in a different reality than I did. Our family knows many same-sex couples – our neighbors in Connecticut, members of my staff, parents of their schoolmates. Some are now married because the Connecticut Supreme Court and our state legislature have made same-sex marriage legal in our state.”

“But to my daughters, these couples are married simply because they love each other and want to build a life together. That's what we've taught them. The things that make those families different from their own pale in comparison to the commitments that bind those couples together.”

“And, really, that's what marriage should be. It's about rights and responsibilities and, most of all, love.”

“I am also proud to now count myself among the many elected officials, advocates, and ordinary citizens who support full marriage equality for same-sex couples,” Dodd said Sunday.

Dodd joins three Democratic senators who have come out for gay marriage this year.

In January, Kirsten E. Gillibrand, the upstate New York congresswoman chosen by Governor David Paterson to fill the Senate seat vacated by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said “I will advocate for marriage equality” in her acceptance speech to the post.

New York Senator Charles Schumer told the New York Daily News in March that “equality is something that has always been a hallmark of America,” when asked to verify a press release by Empire State Pride Agenda, a group that lobbies for gay marriage in New York, that claimed the senator had reversed course on gay marriage.

And two months later, after the Iowa Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin also made an about-face. Speaking on the PBS program Iowa Press, Harkin said he would vote against a ban on gay marriage in Iowa.

“You know there's always going to be some who feel that they have to push this issue [gay marriage], and, for whatever reason, they are going to push it and try to divide people, but they're on the losing end. They are on the losing end of history,” Harkin said.

All four senators hail from states where gay marriage is legal or, in the case of New York, there is widespread support for granting gay and lesbian couples the right to marry.