The Slatest

Sen. McCaskill Latest to Change Mind, Now Backs Gay Marriage

Sen. Claire McCaskill, seen here speaking at a 2012 press conference, is the latest in a string of lawmakers to rethink their opposition to gay marriage

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Add another one to the list: Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill announced her support for gay marriage Sunday evening, writing in a post on Tumblr that she has “come to the conclusion that our government should not limit the right to marry based on who you love.” The news makes her the latest in a string of high-profile politicians to come out in support of allowing gays and lesbians to wed and comes only days before the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on the topic this week:

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.

McCaskill, a Democrat in a state that Mitt Romney won by nearly 10 points this past November, has previously walked a fine line on the issue in the past, as the Washington Post explains:

In 2004, she did oppose Missouri’s state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage but said it was unnecessary as state law already made it illegal. Last May after President Barack Obama’s announcement supporting same-sex marriage, the senator said she favored civil unions but that the issue of same-sex marriage should be left up to individual states.

That comment, however, came at a time when she was facing off with former Rep. Todd Akin, who would later see his chances of unseating the Missouri Democrat largely disappear thanks to his now infamous comments on “legitimate rape.”

McCaskill’s newfound support of same-sex marriage means that she’s now part of a growing plurality that supports allowing gays and lesbians to wed and makes her one of a sizeable swath of Americans who have rethought their position after originally opposing gay marriage. “Good people disagree with me,” the senator wrote Sunday. “On the other hand, my children have a hard time understanding why this is even controversial. I think history will agree with my children.”

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This post has been updated with additional information.