U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, a moderate Democrat from Missouri who has, until now, refused to take a public opinion on the issue of same-sex marriage, announced Sunday that she supports marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.
Her post, in its entirety:
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 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.
McCaskill, 59, was one of a few prominent Democrats who had not yet endorsed same-sex marriage, despite the fact that her party’s platform, unveiled at the Democratic National Convention last September, supported marriage equality for gays and lesbians, and called for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
This is the first time McCaskill has publicly supported gay marriage, a Democratic aide confirmed.