The Slatest

The Nine Senate Democrats Who Still Don’t Support Gay Marriage

Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana is one of only nine Democratic Senators who have not come out in support of gay marriage

Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images

Democratic Sens. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Jon Tester of Montana, Mark Warner of Virginia and Claire McCaskill of Missouri all came out in favor of gay marriage this week, the latest in a seeming avalanche of support for the social issue of the moment. That may have you wondering: Who, exactly, is left in the Senate’s Democratic caucus who hasn’t come forward to support allowing gays and lesbians to walk down the aisle? We’re glad you asked. Here are the nine holdouts, along with how far out each is from his or her next election. (h/t the Huffington Post, which has a solid recap of each senator’s most recent public statements on the matter here.)


  • Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. Up for reelection in 2018.
  • Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Up for reelection in 2018.
  • Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida. Up for reelection in 2018.
  • Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. Up for reelection in 2018.
  • Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware. Up for reelection in 2018.
  • Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana. Up for reelection in 2018.
  • Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. Up for reelection in 2014.
  • Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas. Up for reelection in 2014.
  • Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota. Won’t run for reelection in 2014.


Of the nine, only Carper, Nelson, and Casey hail from states won by President Obama in last fall’s election. (It’s also probably worth remembering that this time last year, Obama had yet come out in favor of same-sex marriage himself.)


Of the four most recent conversions, Hagan and Warner face reelection next year, while McCaskill and Tester are fresh off winning another six-year term last fall. Hagan’s announcement remains the most politically daring given it was only last year that North Carolina voters easily passed an amendment banning gay marriages and civil unions in the state (although she was already on record on opposing that amendment, so it’s unlikely she’d have been able to avoid the topic on the campaign trail).

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