Former Tennessee Congressman Harold
Ford Jr. has recorded a PSA urging New Yorkers to support gay
“I'm former congressman Harold Ford.
And I'm a New Yorker for marriage equality. I'm proud to say that my
views on this issue of marriage equality have changed. I've listened
and I've learned,” Ford says in his 40-second video for the Human
Rights Campaign's New Yorkers for Marriage Equality Campaign
released on Monday.
“I believe committed gay and lesbian
couples in New York should be able to marry,” he adds. “So join
me and the super majority of New Yorkers who view this issue as a
matter of basic fairness. It's time to get this done.” (The video
is embedded in the right panel of this page.)
As a congressman, Ford twice voted in
favor of an amendment that would define marriage as a heterosexual
union in the U.S. Constitution. In 2004 and again in 2006, the
Democrat crossed the aisle to vote with Republicans in favor of the
Federal Marriage Amendment.
The 41-year-old Ford reversed course
last year, telling Today Show host Matt Lauer that he now
supports giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry.
When Lauer asked if it was a “change”
in position, he answered: “Maybe in the language. But I'm a
believer that benefits should flow to same sex partners and if indeed
the fiction of the language, the title should be changed, much like
Chuck Schumer who changed his mind on it and Bill Clinton's evolved,
I'm of the opinion now that nothing is wrong with that.”
Ford, who now lives in New York, last
year considered running for the Senate seat now occupied by the
state's junior senator, Kristen Gillibrand, a strong supporter of gay
On Monday, The
New York Times reported that the New York Senate could vote on a
proposed gay marriage bill as early as Thursday.