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
“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,
“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
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.
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
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