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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