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Claire McCaskill Supports Gay Marriage: "History Will Agree With My Children"

Categories: LGBT, Politics

Thumbnail image for claire mccaskill headshot.jpg
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Claire McCaskill
With a modest Sunday evening Tumblr post and tweet, Senator Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, officially announced her support for gay marriage last night -- her first public statement with a clear pro-marriage equality message.

"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," the Missouri senator writes. "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."

Her support comes as high-profile Democrats and Republicans across the nation have come out with pro-marriage equality announcements.

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Her blog post and Tweet lead off with this biblical reference:

McCaskill, who beat Todd Akin of "legitimate rape" fame, had previously not endorsed marriage equality, even after President Barack Obama announced his stance. She had supported civil unions -- and had argued that states should make their own decisions about marriage equality.

She says in her announcement that while churches shouldn't be required to conduct marriages outside of their religious beliefs, "neither should the government tell people who they have a right to marry."

Claire McCaskill, St. Louis.JPG
Sam Levin
Claire McCaskill in St. Louis earlier this year.

Just a week prior, Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio announced that he supports gay marriage, citing his son's sexuality. Still, some moderate Democratic senators have shied away from gay-marriage questions.

McCaskill, too, referenced her kids, saying, "[M]y children have a hard time understanding why this is even controversial. I think history will agree with my children."

Here's her statement in full:

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13

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.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

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40 comments
James Madison
James Madison

The latest poll results finally came in, and Ms McCaskill was able to reach a decision that makes no difference whatsoever.

fullmarriageequality
fullmarriageequality

We must keep evolving until an adult, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, monogamy or polyamory, race, or religion is free to marry any and all consenting adults. The limited same-gender freedom to marry is a great and historic step, but is NOT full marriage equality, because equality "just for some" is not equality. Let's stand up for EVERY ADULT'S right to marry the person(s) they love. Get on the right side of history!

Jackie Johnson
Jackie Johnson

yes, and respect her for changing her mind when faced with the facts.

ThatsMyTattooo
ThatsMyTattooo

Yeah, some "lowly" senator, who was ELECTED into OFFICE by THE PEOPLE. Gah, how dare Claire do what THE MAJORITY elected her to do, the nerve! If JM is worried about equal rights for ALL, and is opposed to gay marriage, please realize homophobia is often an internalized case of repressed homosexuality. Next article? Is JM really gay?? Statistical analysis would say YES.

Joshua Lewis
Joshua Lewis

I guess "better late than never" goes for her as well as Obama. I hope her recent "come to Jesus" moment is just that and this is the beginning of her being a real decent politician trying to represent her constituents and not more of her dog and pony show antics. Akin is deplorable but this lady is not that great of a lesser of two evils. I hope she has a strong opponent in her next democratic primary. The Missouri democrats need to get their head in the game already just like at the national level. Or better yet, get the greens and socialists off the couch. This is nuts.

Shawn Cortner Sensel
Shawn Cortner Sensel

Kelle, we need more parents and overall citizens like you in this world and I am pretty sure we would all be better off. I praise you for teaching your children of love and that love comes in all forms. Much love to your parents for teaching you the way ppl should treat others.

Kelle Deyne
Kelle Deyne

Shawn- I don't know you, but I have been fighting/supporting LGBT rights and awareness since I was just 10 yrs old. I was raised by a mom and dad home. And acceptance and equality were taught to me. It starts at home. It did not make me gay, make me doubt... it just made me a person who supports love and commitment. I am married with 2 grown children. And they were and are not silent. They support equality in all forms also. Shame on the parents and people who create more hate and fear. When in fact, they are just ignorant and typically following a religious propaganda. I'm with ya!!!!

Kelle Deyne
Kelle Deyne

Ben-- ignorant statement. Adam, I suppose you voted for Akin. Epic fail. Hateful to not support equality for everyone. Liberty and justice for ALL.

Adam Usher
Adam Usher

She didn't before now she's "changed" her mind. I have never voted for that lady and never will.

Chris Melton
Chris Melton

Of course she does - she hasn't had a thought of her own ever - em except - get reelected!

Shawn Cortner Sensel
Shawn Cortner Sensel

Most of you are right by saying what does it matter if 2 ppl of the same sex married. I am in a relationship and probably more committed than someone in a heterosexual relationship. I live my life everyday and never worry about what the outside world thinks of my life. All I worry about is my little family and what goes on with my gf and kids. What I dont understand is why we can not show our children how committed their mothers really are if we chose to?? We show our children everyday that love is love and it is hypercritical to me that they have to see that we can not have a commitment like others. To me this will confuse our kids down the road. How can I always say love is love when equality is not involved?? Ppl say all the time how children could never flourish in a house of 2 parents of the same sex. For those who believe this I would tell you to come and see my kids. They are happy, healthy and excel in school. We are open with our children and ask questions everyday to ensure this is true. For those who want to fight against this maybe you should remember you are not a part of my family or anyone else so who are you to say I dont have a right to make my family complete.

Steve Dixon
Steve Dixon

Otis - "Did you ever stop to think that he might not know anything other than what he repeats off of TV or from his friends?" Since when has ignorance been an excuse for anything? Besides, when did I say I hate Paul? Sure, his bigotry is disgusting, but I don't hate the man. I don't even know him.

Michael Domaradzki
Michael Domaradzki

@Otis G. Grove III In any other sense I would definitely agree with you. However, the problem with this type of mentality is that it is not limited to just writing on facebook or on a forum. The issue here is that this type of mentality is crippling to people. No matter how much people brush it off, the constant hate and trepidation that gays and lesbians have to live through on a day to day basis will wear even the toughest of shells. I am not saying that he should not have an opinion, but opinions CAN and HAVE caused harm to others. Lets take a look at history: Klu Klux Klan, Hitler's Regime, Stalin's Communist Russia, Crusades, Mujahideen, Abu Sayyaf, Interahamwe Genocide, FARC, etc. etc. All these groups and people have they're own "opinions", but when that opinion crosses the threshold from simple dialogue to actually harming other people it stops being an opinion but an ideology. A hateful one. THAT is why I took such an aggressive tone with Mr. Burrows. His type of mentality and thinking has not only harmed others, but has stifled the progression of the human race. Hope everyone here understands this.

Ben Vogelsang
Ben Vogelsang

I find it pretty interesting that just by adding a two word question at the end of this post, "Do you?", we've unleashed a s$&t storm of opinions that will ultimately make people angry with one another. Personally, I believe in happiness. If a man wants to marry another man, fantastic. If a woman wants to have a wife, great! Leave it alone... The only abomination in this debate is the fact, for some reason, we're unable to embrace a lifestyle. I honestly think we have much more to concern ourselves with in this country than gay marriage.

Mary Wayne
Mary Wayne

Yes I do support it! Worry about your own marriages not everyone else's!

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

Ms McCaskill is years too late into the debate. Typical. When her vote does not count, she issues an opinion. It is up to the Supreme Court, not some lowly Senator to decide at this point.

Otis G. Grove III
Otis G. Grove III

Steven, after this reply I'm going to spend the day with my children. I don't like the fact that some jobs hire illegal immigrants an have said so openly, but that does not mean I hate them. If he wants to call it a abomination again that is his right. Did you ever stop to think that he might not know anything other than what he repeats off of TV or from his friends?

Steve Dixon
Steve Dixon

Otis - I don't see anyone saying Paul doesn't have the right to his opinion. But when you express that opinion openly and with the hate he has (calling it an abomination is hate plain and simple), you better be ready and expect to be countered.

Kenneth Snyder
Kenneth Snyder

I don't think it even matters what any of us think. Why should my thoughts, feelings, or beliefs have any bearing on how someone else peacefully lives their life? Let's say, hypothetically, that the majority of Americans were against gay marriage. A national vote on gay marriage would be like 2 wolves and a sheep voting on what's for supper. It shouldn't be any of our business.

Otis G. Grove III
Otis G. Grove III

What happened to people having there own opinion? If Paul wants to think that way that is HIS right just like it is YOUR right to disagree. - 25 USMC

Chris DiMercurio
Chris DiMercurio

The same people who tell you it's an abomination also support an organization that covers up and supports petaphiles..... Everyone deserves to be happy, period. No one has the right to tell you the love you feel for another person is wrong. No religion, no agency, no government and no individual. The constitution was written to ensure that people of all walks of life could be free from tyranny... And if you can draw religious freedom from that, you sure as hell can draw personal freedom from it. Let those who are without sin cast the first stone..... That's from the same book you all quote when you say it's an abomination, Paul. At the end of the day it's you who are disgusting, Paul, and I pity you.

Corey Kallmbah
Corey Kallmbah

People can do what they want .if people want to support or be in a same sex marriage who cares .but I am so sick of being thrown in our face .yes your gay who the hell cares.

Steve Dixon
Steve Dixon

I find your bigotry disgusting, Paul.

Leslee Brown
Leslee Brown

The only decent thing this woman has ever done is come out for marriage equality

Peggy Keller
Peggy Keller

There are several arguments to make that it's unconstitutional, the 14th amendment gives equal protection and bans on gay marriage violate equal protection. There is also an argument that it violates due process.- so read the 5th and 14th amendment. Basically it boils down to: you cannot give one set of individuals a particular right and deny those same rights to another. This is for the secular, legal commitment of marriage- not the religious ceremony. The Govt is going to have to stop sanctioning all marriage and call everything a civil union or they will have to allow gays to marry.

Amanda Marti
Amanda Marti

Who cares if you find it disgusting, Paul? You realize other people's marriages in no way affect your life, right? There are a lot of things I find disgusting which I why I personally don't engage in them. I find guns disgusting, so I don't own one. I find watermelon disgusting, so I don't eat it. I wouldn't want to take away guns or watermelons away from others. If you find gay marriage disgusting, then don't marry a man. Grow up.

Rick Kohn
Rick Kohn

It doesn't, but you're missing my point.

Paul Burrows
Paul Burrows

Since the Constitution was mentioned. I'm curious. Please tell where in the Constitution it supports gay marriage? Really, I want to read that part for myself. Personally, I find it disgusting and an abomination.

Jeff DirtyBus Hopkins
Jeff DirtyBus Hopkins

Kyle and I will be celebrating 10 years together in December. We should have the right to marry if we want.

Rick Kohn
Rick Kohn

The Constitution was written for ALL.

slee14
slee14

@Amanda Marti HI i just want to say that I am a gay man who grew up in the church. I was told from a young age that I was evil and vile in God's eyes. i was forced into a change ministry where i was torchered physicaly. i had electrodes put to my genetals. was injected with drugs to make me vomit while forced to watch pornography. this is what "loveing" people did to me. I am still a christian and in a commited relationship with my partner of 14 years. I will say this to those who think that it is rightous to treat us the way they do.... According to the bible we are to love one another asChrist loved us... Your bigotry shows that you do not love christ as nearly as much as he did... he died for you and you whipe ypour self and show your dirty rags ... just agreeing with you Amanda.



Stephen.

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