And then there were four- Democrats that is. Democratic Senators not supporting same-sex marriage, that is. Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Donnelly have both announced their support for same-sex marriage. Both hail from ‘Red’ states. So far, only two Republicans have voiced support for marriage equality.
Heitkamp (ND) stated “In speaking with North Dakotans from every corner of our great state, and much personal reflection, I have concluded the federal government should no longer discriminate against people who want to make lifelong, loving commitments to each other or interfere in personal, private, and intimate relationships. I view the ability of anyone to marry as a logical extension of this belief. The makeup of families is changing, but the importance of family is enduring.”
Donnelly (Ind) posted on Facebook that “In recent years, our country has been involved in an important discussion on the issue of marriage equality. While serving in the House of Representatives, I had the opportunity to act on a core belief of mine: we are a stronger country when we draw on the strengths of all Americans. I voted to repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and was an original supporter of the bill that would make it illegal to discriminate against someone in the workplace because of their sexual orientation.”
He went on to say “It is also for that reason that I oppose amending either Indiana’s or our nation’s constitution to enshrine in those documents an ‘us’ and a ‘them,’ instead of a ‘we.’ With the recent Supreme Court arguments and accompanying public discussion of same-sex marriage, I have been thinking about my past positions and votes. In doing so, I have concluded that the right thing to do is to support marriage equality for all.”
This leaves Mark Pryor, Joe Manchin, Mary Landrieu and Tim Johnson as the only Democratic hold outs. Republicans Rob Protman and Mark Kirk are the only Republicans to support same-sex marriage.
It seems unlikely that the Republicans are going to evolve on this issue at all outside of a few. This largely has to do with the fact that the center of Republican power is the House of Representatives, and thanks to gerrymandered districts, they feel incredibly safe and comfortable inside their shell where the Democrats cannot easily take them down.
Because of this they are less beholden to their voters and more beholden to the people funneling money to them, and that means that they do not listen to the majority of Americans, but rather to the special interests that they get their orders from.