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Two more Senate Democrats comment on gay marriage, but hold back on support

Friday, April 5, 2013
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Two more U.S. Senators weighed in on the issue of same-sex marriage on Friday, but unlike the ten previous announcements by Senate colleagues, neither expressed their public support of marriage equality.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana said Friday that she personally supports marriage equality for gay couples, but that she would not take a public position in support same-sex marriage because of opposition among her constituents.

U.S. Sens. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Mary Lanrieu (D-La.)

Landrieu told CNN on Friday that she personally believes “people should love who they love and marry who they want to marry,” but that her obligation rests with the people of Louisiana who elected her.

“My state has a very strong constitutional amendment not only against gay marriage but against gay partnerships. So I’m looking at the people of Louisiana trying to represent their interests,” she said.

Also Friday, U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, one of three remaining Senate Democrats who have not yet expressed support for marriage equality, responding to KFSM-TV, said, “I would put me down in the undecided category.”

Earlier in the day, freshman Democratic senators Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota joined the growing chorus of lawmakers to publicly support same-sex marriage.

In separate statements released minutes apart on Friday, the senators said their views on the issue had evolved. They joined a rapidly growing list of senators who support gay marriage and the list now includes 49 Democrats, two independents who caucus with Democrats and two Republicans.

In less than two weeks, ten Senate Democrats have announced their support for same-sex marriage — two remaining Democrats, Sens. Tim Johnson of South Dakota, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, have yet to take a position.

Among Republicans, only two senators, Mark Kirk of Illinois and Rob Portman of Ohio, have announced their support for gay marriage.

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