Sen. Tim Johnson Endorses Same-Sex Marriage
Retiring Senator Tim Johnson is the latest Democratic Senator to endorse same-sex marriage:
Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), one of the last remaining Democratic holdouts to oppose same-sex marriage, announced Monday that he now supports gay nuptials.
“After lengthy consideration, my views have evolved sufficiently to support marriage equality legislation,” Johnson said in a statement. “This position doesn’t require any religious denomination to alter any of its tenets; it simply forbids government from discrimination regarding who can marry whom.”
As one Democrat after another came out in support of marriage equality over the last month, Johnson’s reticence on the subject confused some, as he will not seek re-election next year and therefore faced no political damage for changing positions. Some speculated that he remained silent in order to avoid undermining the political prospects of his son, U.S. attorney Brendan Johnson, who is said to be considering a run in next year’s open U.S. Senate race.
This leaves three Senators on the Democratic side who have not endorsed same-sex marriage, but it’s clear that at least two of them won’t be making any announcements any time soon. Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu, for example said that while she personally supports marriage equality she won’t endorse it because her state bans it. Arkansas’s
David Mark Pryor, meanwhile, says he’s still undecided on the issue. Perhaps not coincidentally, Pryor and Landrieu are both facing re-election in 2014.