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Queer Talk: Dem. Sen. Nelson Becomes 51st to Support Marriage Equality, Six Dems to Go


Joining 47 other Democrats, two Independents and two Republicans, Florida’s Bill Nelson today announced his support for marriage equality.

As The Tampa Bay Times reported it, “Bill Nelson reverses opposition to gay marriage.”

The New Civil Rights Movement notes:

This means a majority of sitting U.S. Senators support the right of same-sex couples to marry, for the first time ever in history.

Nelson’s statement:

It is generally accepted in American law and U.S. society today ‘… that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.’ I believe that. The civil rights and responsibilities for one must pertain to all.

Thus, to discriminate against one class and not another is wrong for me.
If we are endowed by our Creator with rights, then why shouldn’t those be attainable by Gays and Lesbians?

Simply put, if The Lord made homosexuals as well as heterosexuals, why should I discriminate against their civil marriage? I shouldn’t, and I won’t.

So I will add my name to the petition of senators asking the Supreme Court to declare the law that prohibits gay marriage unconstitutional.

The remaining Democrats:

Joe Donnelly (Indiana); Tim Johnson (South Dakota, not seeking re-election); Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota); Mary Landrieu (Louisiana); Joe Manchin (West Virginia); Mark Pryor (Arkansas).

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4 Responses to Queer Talk: Dem. Sen. Nelson Becomes 51st to Support Marriage Equality, Six Dems to Go

  1. Cujo359 April 4, 2013 at 11:10 pm #

    Looks like Stephen Jay Gould was right – punctuated equilibrium is the dominant mode of evolution. Something changes in the ecosystem and everyone evolves.

    Don’t tell Dawkins, he’ll be heartbroken…

    • Joyce Arnold April 5, 2013 at 8:40 am #

      That does seem to be a fairly good description — “punctuated equilibrium” — of what’s happening. The process by which each of these now “evolved” senators arrived at their own moment of decision no doubt varies, and what the publicly expressed change ends up meaning … much to consider.

  2. spincitysd April 5, 2013 at 4:29 am #

    I think we are running out of Democratic Senators, Mary Landrieu (Louisiana); Joe Manchin (West Virginia); Mark Pryor (Arkansas) would be committing political suicide if they came “out” as it were. Tim Johnson may also be a no show as he may not want to ruin the chances of the Democratic Party to hold onto the SD seat. What is not surprising at all is that the Democratic Party in the Senate is providing the lion’s share of the evolutionary momentum.

    We will see what the Supremes add to the discussion later in the year. We might get the state solution / standing dodge. Prop 8 dies an ugly if justified death via the plaintiffs having no standing while DOMA dies an ugly if justified death because of Federal over-reach.

    There is a chance the Supremes swing for the fences however. Roberts has to understand that sooner or later the “full faith” language of the Constitution is going to come up from the depths to bite the court in the tenders. Sooner or later a LGBT couple married in one state is going to sue to stay married in the state they have moved to wich has a bar against their marriage. It will most likely come up via the very mundane subject of taxes.

    I can see the very prosaic question of single vs married deduction being a topic the Supremes cannot dodge. Truth, justice, fairness, love, the American way, meh; hey we got nailed for $1000.00 bucks on our state taxes– now we have actual harm! That policy point is a 100 car freight train headed into court and Roberts must be able to hear that train rumbling toward him.

    • Joyce Arnold April 5, 2013 at 8:52 am #

      It may be that the rest of the Dems won’t budge. I do find it interesting that changes are still coming even after the Prop 8 and DOMA cases were heard. The pressure continues, of course, but I thought those who didn’t indicate their support might wait until after the SCOTUS decisions.

      The entirely possible “state solution” is much discussed, certainly. The fact that the case of Edie Windsor, regarding DOMA, is focused on the taxes she had to pay after her wife’s death, which wouldn’t have been required had their marriage had federal recognition, makes it certain this has to be a consideration.

      For whatever reasons, the majority (if just) of the Senate now support marriage equality. Meanwhile, in the House … lots of quiet, listen to the crickets.

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