Claire McCaskill Backs Gay Marriage

03/24/2013 09:42 pm ET | Updated Mar 26, 2013
  • Sam Stein Senior Politics Editor, The Huffington Post

WASHINGTON -- Support for gay marriage is snowballing among Democrats, as even the more conservative members of the party are coming out in favor of marriage equality. The latest on the list is Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who announced her backing without fanfare in Tumblr post Sunday night.

The question of marriage equality is a great American debate. Many people, some with strong religious faith, believe that marriage can only exist between a man and a woman. Other people, many of whom also have strong religious faith, believe that our country should not limit the commitment of marriage to some, but rather all Americans, gay and straight should be allowed to fully participate in the most basic of family values.

I have come to the conclusion that our government should not limit the right to marry based on who you love. While churches should never be required to conduct marriages outside of their religious beliefs, neither should the government tell people who they have a right to marry.

My views on this subject have changed over time, but as many of my gay and lesbian friends, colleagues and staff embrace long term committed relationships, I find myself unable to look them in the eye without honestly confronting this uncomfortable inequality. Supporting marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples is simply the right thing to do for our country, a country founded on the principals [sic] of liberty and equality.

Good people disagree with me. On the other hand, my children have a hard time understanding why this is even controversial. I think history will agree with my children.

This is the first time McCaskill has publicly supported gay marriage, a Democratic aide confirmed. While it may seem par for the course for a Democrat to be on this side of the debate -- after it played such a prominent role during the party's 2012 convention -- the fact that even Red State members like McCaskill now feel comfortable coming out in favor of marriage rights for gays and lesbians is significant. At the very least it’s a reflection of how far the conversation has come.

The issue of gay marriage, after all, dogged McCaskill during her 2012 campaign in Missouri, where President Obama's endorsement of marriage equality was met with silence among some moderate Democrats.

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