As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Monday, June 22, 2009

Chris Dodd Comes Around To Supporting Gay Marriage

Chris Dodd's running for Senate re-election in a state that has already legalized gay marriage, in legislation eventually signed by a popular Republican Governor. So him coming out in support of gay marriage probably has a political significance. But he frames it on the level of wanting to properly meet the call of history.

While I’ve long been for extending every benefit of marriage to same-sex couples, I have in the past drawn a distinction between a marriage-like status (“civil unions”) and full marriage rights.

The reason was simple: I was raised to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. And as many other Americans have realized as they’ve struggled to reconcile the principle of fairness with the lessons they learned early in life, that’s not an easy thing to overcome.

But the fact that I was raised a certain way just isn’t a good enough reason to stand in the way of fairness anymore.

The Connecticut Supreme Court, of course, has ruled that such a distinction holds no merit under the law. And the Court is right [...]

My young daughters are growing up in a different reality than I did. Our family knows many same-sex couples – our neighbors in Connecticut, members of my staff, parents of their schoolmates. Some are now married because the Connecticut Supreme Court and our state legislature have made same-sex marriage legal in our state.

But to my daughters, these couples are married simply because they love each other and want to build a life together. That’s what we’ve taught them. The things that make those families different from their own pale in comparison to the commitments that bind those couples together.

And, really, that’s what marriage should be. It’s about rights and responsibilities and, most of all, love.

Even with gay marriage a reality in Connecticut, among those in the middle who would decide his re-election, this stand probably doesn't help all that much, although I'm not sure it hurts either. Dodd's simply trying to get this right. So good for him; others in the Democratic Party who probably share his views are afraid to speak out this way. And the rest of those lagging behind Dodd ought to catch up.

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