A growing list of elected officials and celebrities have followed President Obama’s lead and endorsed marriage equality since last week. Some highlights below.
Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), May 9: I’ve been thinking and deliberating about this for many, many months. …I believe it’s appropriate to support same-sex marriage and as a result to support the Respect for Marriage Act.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), May 9: “My personal belief is that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Reid said in a statement. “But in a civil society, I believe that people should be able to marry whomever they want, and it’s no business of mine if two men or two women want to get married.
Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.), May 10: “I know that many good people disagree with me on this issue. …However, as occurred with former Vice President Dick Cheney, all of us are acquiring increased awareness of the struggle of gay and lesbian Americans.”
Gov. Pat Quinn (D-Ill.), May 10: “Gov. Quinn joins with President Obama in supporting marriage equality and looks forward to working on this issue in the future with the General Assembly,” Quinn spokeswoman Mica Matsoff said.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), May 11: “Because I believe that equal treatment is a central tenet of our nation, I believe that extending the definition of marriage to committed relationships between two people, irrespective of their sex, is the right thing to do and will not, in any way, undermine the institution of marriage so important to our society nor impose a threat to any individual marriage. It will, however, extend the respect due to every one of our fellow citizens that we would want for ourselves and our children.”
Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I-R.I.), May 14: “We’re overdue, way overdue,” Gov. Chafee told an audience after ordering out-of-state same-sex marriages recognized equally in Rhode Island.
House Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.), May 14: “I, like the president, have evolved to a point of marriage equality. … I have not always been there. I grew up in a parsonage, a fundamentalist Christian parsonage, and I grew up with that indoctrination. And I have grown to the point that I believe that we have evolved to marriage equality.
Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn, May 14: While saying he would make pushing a same-sex marriage bill a priority in the next legislative session, Gov. Quinn said, “I don’t think we want to wait on courts. …I think in Illinois, we are able to show the nation that we are a state that believes in respecting everyone. Everyone has dignity and rights.”
Actor Will Smith, May 14: “If anybody can find someone to love them and to help them through this difficult thing that we call life, I support that in any shape or form.”
Hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, May 13: “I’ve always thought of it as something that was still holding the country back. What people do in their own homes is their business, and you can choose to love whoever you love. That’s their business. It’s no different than discriminating against blacks. It’s discrimination, plain and simple.”