Warner, who previously had not been supportive of same-sex marriage, hinted at an evolution on the subject when he became one of 40 U.S. Senators to sign on to an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to overturn the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Warner made the announcement in a Facebook post Monday afternoon:
I support marriage equality because it is the fair and right thing to do.
Like many Virginians and Americans, my views on gay marriage have evolved, and this is the inevitable extension of my efforts to promote equality and opportunity for everyone. I was proud to be the first Virginia governor to extend anti-discrimination protections to LGBT state workers.
In 2010, I supported an end to the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, and earlier this month I signed an amicus brief urging the repeal of DOMA. I believe we should continue working to expand equal rights and opportunities for all Americans.
Warner’s change of heart comes just one day before the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments challenging California‘s ban on same-sex marriage and the constitutionality of DOMA.
On Sunday evening, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, a moderate Democrat from Missouri, who previously refused to take a public opinion on the issue of same-sex marriage, also announced that she supports marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.
Warner, who is up for reelection in 2014, has been mentioned as a potential presidential contender in 2016.