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Virginia Sen. Mark Warner now backs gay marriage

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March 25, 2013 08:57 PM EST | AP


RICHMOND, Va. — U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat who describes himself as a centrist, has announced on Facebook that he now supports gay marriage.

Warner's disclosure Monday comes as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on two cases involving gay marriage this week. It marks an evolution for Warner on the subject.

Warner had previously supported civil unions that confer some rights that married couples enjoy on same-gender couples. In the waning days of his term as governor, Warner was the first governor to ban discrimination in hiring and workplace protection for gay state employees.

In 2010, he backed ending the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy toward gays in the military.

On Facebook, Warner says he supports marriage equality "because it is the fair and right thing to do."